11/05/2010 1:24PM

Before heading south, Baker has Lord Justice, Athenamore lined up for stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Reade Baker will be wearing two hats for the next couple of weeks, training his horses here at Woodbine in the morning and then heading downtown to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to show his ducks and chickens.

Baker also has started his annual exodus to Palm Meadows in Florida, with eight horses already having shipped down from nearby Adena Springs North.

“After this, I’ll be sending out horses as soon as they’ve run their last race here,” said Baker. “They’ll be going in dribs and drabs.”

Baker hopes to have several stakes starters over the final four weeks of the meeting, beginning with next weekend’s $150,000 Autumn and $150,000 Glorious Song.

Lord Justice, a 4-year-old colt who races for Stronach Stable, has not seen action since finishing fourth at Laurel on March 27 for trainer Todd Pletcher but has been here with Baker since midsummer. He is being pointed to the Autumn.

A winner of minor stakes at Aqueduct and Laurel, Lord Justice would have to be supplemented to the Autumn at a cost of $3,000.

The prospective field for the 1 1/16-mile Autumn, which is a Grade 2 race for 3-year-olds and upward, is headed by Southdale, who was a convincing winner of the 1 1/8-mile Durham Cup in his last start here Oct. 3.

“Southdale would be a pretty big nut to crack,” said Baker.

Other leading Autumn contenders include Stunning Stag and Big Red Mike, who finished one-two in the 1 1/16-mile allowance prep here Oct. 23.

Athenamore, also owned and bred by Stronach, would be seeking her second win in as many starts in the Glorious Song, which is a seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

In her 5 1/2-furlong debut, Athenamore stalked the pace and then took charge for a 3 1/4-length victory here on Sept. 25.

“She won easily,” said Baker.

Street Prize and Mistress Gallop, both of whom are trained by Darwin Banach, also should be heard from in the Glorious Song.

Street Prize, a Kentucky-bred who is owned by Bill Sorokolit, is 2 for 3 with a maiden win at six furlongs and a first-level allowance win at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Mistress Gallop, a Kentucky-bred owned by David Sorokolit, won her maiden over 4 1/2 furlongs at first asking and then finished third in the 6 1/2-furlong Ontario Damsel on Aug, 14.

Fatal Bullet and Rockin Heat, both of whom are owned by Danny Dion’s Bear Stable and had been under consideration for the Breeders’ Cup, instead will make their next appearances here on their home grounds.

Fatal Bullet, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Nearctic over six furlongs of turf, should wind up his campaign in the Nov. 20 Kennedy Road. The Kennedy Road, at six furlongs on the main track, offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000.

Rockin Heat, a maiden after four starts but second in both the Grade 3 Summer at a mile on the turf and the Grade 3 Grey at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, has the Dec. 5 Display on his agenda.

The Display, worth $150,000, is a 1 1/16 mile race for 2-year-olds.

Bear Chocolated nearly race-ready

Baker also is looking forward to the return of Bear Chocolated, who was a game maiden winner when debuting here Aug. 2. Rockin Heat, also making his first start there, finished a head back in second.

Bear Chocolated bucked his shins during that outing but was back on the work tab Oct. 11 and breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:01.60 on the training track here last Monday.

“He’s a nice horse; he’s certainly doing everything right,” said Baker. “I thought he’d win by farther that day, but looking back on it Rockin Heat’s turned out to be pretty decent.”

Ojibway Signal back on main track

Ojibway Signal was supplemented to the Oct. 17 Cup and Saucer at a cost of $7,500 but finished eighth when trying turf for the first time in that 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

But David Bell, who trains Ojibway Signal and owns the colt in partnership with Gus Vlahos, is going back to the bank to ante up another $7,500 for the privilege of starting in Sunday’s $250,000 Coronation Futurity at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

Ojibway Signal had come into the Cup and Saucer after winning over a mile and 70 yards in Ontario-sired company.

“I really believe it was the turf last time,” said Bell, offering an explanation for Objibway Signal’s 5 1/2-length defeat in the Cup and Saucer. “He kind of ran green, all over the place, which he wasn’t when he ran on Polytrack.”

Ojibway Signal turned in two five-furlong drills since the Cup and Saucer, the latest a 1:02.20 breeze here Monday.

“He’s worked well, but not superstar-like,” said Bell. “He’s in good shape.”

Bell has saddled three winners of the Coronation: Spigot in 1989, Love View in 1996, and Thinking Out Loud in 2005.