06/06/2009 12:00AM

Ice Bear holds off Marchfield


Ice Bear ($6) dug in gamely in the final furlong to take the Grade 3, $170,275 Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine over second choice Marchfield.

The longshot Judiths Wild Rush was sent to the front in the 1 1/16-mile route, and set fractions of 24.04 and 47.52 seconds before being overtaken by Approval Rating, who got the three-quarters in 1:11.90.

The favored Ice Bear raced five lengths off the lead on the backstretch, and loomed into contention on the far turn before coming inside Approval Rating at the head of the stretch. He gradually put that rival away, and then held off a charging Marchfield to prevail by a neck. Approval Rating faded to third in the nine-horse field.

Chantal Sutherland rode Ice Bear for Augustin Stable and trainer Mac Benson.

"Mac said in the paddock to do whatever you want to do," said Sutherland. "That was kind of nice, because you're not handcuffed to any instructions. I can always go with the flow with him, and it worked out."

Ice Bear covered the distance in 1:43.38, and earned $103,500.

* Michael's Bad Boy ($6) led throughout the supporting feature, the $125,000 Steady Growth Stakes.

With Eurico Da Silva aboard, Michael's Bad Boy set moderate fractions of 24.10 and 48.08 while being tracked by favored Dancer's Bajan. He opened up a clear lead on the far turn, and then coasted home on top by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:43.53. Dancer's Bajan nosed out Yummy With Butter for second, and Gone Trajectory wound up fourth in the five-horse field of Ontario-sired runners.

Michael's Bad Boy banked $75,000 in his first stakes score for owner Joan Agro and trainer Nick Gonzalez.