07/11/2007 11:00PM

Ice Bear looking good on turf


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ice Bear goes for his second consecutive score in a Woodbine turf stakes Saturday in the $150,000 Toronto Cup, a nine-furlong event for 3-year-olds.

Ice Bear showed lots of promise at 2, but his first two starts this year on the Polytrack were disappointing. He woke up in his turf debut June 3, finishing second against older allowance opponents, and was recently victorious over 3-year-olds in the Charlie Barley Stakes, in which he got a Beyer Speed Figure of 93 for completing a mile in 1:33.80.

Trainer Mac Benson said he has always had high hopes for Ice Bear, who is out of mare Bristol Pistol, whom he sent out to win three turf stakes.

"Both of his 2-year-old races were very good," Benson said. "We thought he was our Queen's Plate horse, but when we tried him on the Poly, he didn't seem to handle it. Then we tried the grass, and he really handled it the way we wanted him to. Hopefully, he's found a home on the grass, and since I took the blinkers off, he's rated kindly."

Trainer Mark Casse entered three runners - Approval Rating, Skip Code, and the filly Sprung. He said he is planning on running two them.

"Skip Code is going to run," Casse said. "The other two are owned by Woodford [Racing], and only one of them is going to run, probably Approval Rating. Sprung is in there as a backup."

Approval Rating, who captured the Victoria Park Stakes in his last outing, might have the best chance of the three. He won his maiden his first time out on the grass, but was a non-factor in his only other turf start, the Grade 3 Summer Stakes in September.

"He came back lame in behind after the Summer," Casse said. "He pulled a muscle and was out of action for a while. He's trained well on the turf, and he's bred for it. He should be better on the turf than he is on the Polytrack."

Get Rich Quick trailed in the 12-horse Charlie Barley field as the 3-1 favorite, an effort that left trainer Malcolm Pierce baffled.

"He didn't run a jump," Pierce recalled. "He broke poorly and just galloped around. He was fine after the race, and he came back and worked fine. I don't have any excuses for him.

"There's not much left here for straight 3-year-olds, so I'm going to give him another shot and then give him a little break before gearing up for the fall."