06/08/2008 11:00PM

Ginger Brew sticking with fillies


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ginger Brew reigns the undisputed queen of the local 3-year-old fillies after her emphatic win in Sunday's $502,800 Woodbine Oaks.

But a return in the June 22 Queen's Plate is not a consideration for Ginger Brew, who races for Stronach Stable and is trained by Brian Lynch.

Team Stronach already has two prospects for the Queen's Plate in Harlem Rocker and Jungle Brew.

Harlem Rocker is trained by Todd Pletcher but is under Lynch's day-to-day care after finishing fourth when making his first start on Polytrack here in the May 31 Plate Trial.

Jungle Brew, trained by Lynch, was a good second when making just his second appearance in a 1 1/8-mile maiden race here the same afternoon.

"Both colts are going to work Saturday, and then a decision will be made on Harlem Rocker," said Lynch, the morning after Ginger Brew's sweet success. "As it is right now, we're definitely going to run Jungle Brew."

Lynch plans to work Harlem Rocker in company with Barreling Home, a talented Florida-bred 3-year-old whom he also trains for Stronach Stable.

"I'll use him as a bit of a gauging rod, and then we'll go from there," Lynch said. "If Harlem Rocker can work with him and gallop out with him nice, then we'll try him" in the Queen's Plate. "But if it seems like the track is an issue, we'll send him back down to Todd."

In the meantime, Ginger Brew deserves to be the flavor of the day after making short work of her Woodbine Oaks opposition.

In a Florida campaign specifically designed to bring her to the Woodbine Oaks in peak fettle, Ginger Brew had competed four times and returned north off a sharp score in the Calder Oaks over 1 1/8 miles of turf.

"This is what I visualized, hoping she's going to come back up here and run like that," Lynch said after watching Ginger Brew scored by six lengths under Javier Castellano, her regular rider in Florida. "Those weren't slouches she beat down there; the horses she ran against were pretty salty.

"She seems to be one of those honest types who takes her racetrack with her - whether it's grass, dirt, or Polytrack."

Ginger Brew's next target will be the $250,000 Bison City, the 1 1/16-mile race here June 29 that follows the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks as the second leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

The triple tiara, which concludes with the Wonder Where over 1 1/4 miles of turf here July 26, was swept for the first time last year by Sealy Hill, who went on to be voted Canada's Horse of the Year, champion 3-year-old filly, and champion turf female.

Sealy Hill went on to finish second to older fillies and mares in both the Grade 2 Canadian and Grade 1 E.P. Taylor on the local turf course, and Lynch can foresee Ginger Brew following a similarly ambitious path.

"The sky's the limit with her," Lynch said.

Ginger Brew's $300,000 share of the Woodbine Oaks purse equaled a career high for Lynch, a feat he first achieved with Royal Challenger's score in the Breeders' here in 2006.

Malakoff, also trained by Lynch, finished first in that year's $500,000 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie only to be disqualified and placed fifth in a stewards' decision that was upheld following an appeal hearing and announced nine months later.

Lynch admitted experiencing some uncomfortable flashbacks when Emile Ramsammy, aboard runner-up Victory Romance, claimed foul against Ginger Brew following the Woodbine Oaks.

"It definitely crossed my mind," Lynch said.

Shippers win both supporting stakes

Shippers took the two supporting stakes on Sunday's program as Secret Getaway won the $150,400 Victoria Park for trainer Michael Stidham and Passion captured the $102,800 Alywow for Todd Pletcher.

Secret Getaway was the seventh local entrant and first stakes winner here for Stidham, who is based at Arlington.

"There was a race at Prairie Meadows for him at a mile on the dirt," said assistant trainer Hillary Pridham, who was here with Secret Getaway. "But he'd been training well on Polytrack at Keeneland and Arlington, so this seemed like a logical spot."

While the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park was Secret Getaway's first start around two turns, Pridham was confident that his pedigree and size qualified the colt for the test.

"We'd like to try him on the grass at some point," said Pridham, noting that Arlington turf stakes such as the American Derby and Secretariat could be in Secret Getaway's future.

Passion, a Grade 3 winner at Santa Anita this winter, looked to be taking an edge in the Alywow and made no mistakes under Castellano.

The trainer and jockey could wind up on opposite sides of the fence in the Queen's Plate, however, as Pletcher would be the trainer of record for Harlem Rocker and Castellano has the call on locally based Niagara Thunder for trainer Alec Fehr.

Deputiformer impresses with drill

Deputiformer is Queen's Plate-bound after working six furlongs in a sizzling 1:11.60 under jockey Jerry Baird here Sunday morning.

"He worked like a monster; it was sensational," said trainer Mike DePaulo, who noted that Deputiformer had drawn a bead on a horse working ahead of him and finished strongly through the stretch.

Deputiformer, considered a serious Queen's Plate candidate last year after winning the Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles of grass and finishing third in the Coronation Futurity over 1 1/8 miles of Polytrack, has been disappointing this season but now seems to be heading in the right direction.

"This horse is going to run a real good race in the Plate," DePaulo said.

'So-so work' for Giquere

Giquere, also on the Queen's Plate trail for DePaulo, worked six furlongs here Monday in 1:14.80.

"He didn't work very good today; I don't know what happened," DePaulo said. "I worked him with another horse, and it was just a so-so work."

Baird was aboard Giquere for Monday's drill, but Cornelio Velasquez is scheduled to be here for the Queen's Plate.

Giquere is coming off a distant fourth-place finish behind a trio of American-breds here in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Marine here May 17.

Took the Time works in company

Took the Time also tuned up for the Queen's Plate here Monday, breezing five furlongs in 59 seconds while going in company with Indian Joy, a Texas-bred 3-year-old who was undefeated in two starts last year and finished in 59.20.

Simon Husbands was aboard Took the Time, whose clocking was the fastest of 29 at the distance.

"He broke off about four lengths behind Indian Joy and finished about two lengths behind him," Casse said. "All our riders carry radios and at the top of the lane I told Simon to slow him down. He was going along at quite a clip."

Took the Time is heading into the Queen's Plate off a second-place finish in a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and upward here May 18.