09/08/2009 11:00PM

Ice Bear tops star-filled field


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ice Bear heads an accomplished field that includes the Canadian classic winners Mike Fox and Alezzandro in Friday's second race at Woodbine, a 1 1/16-mile allowance.

Ice Bear, a 5-year-old with nearly $700,000 in earnings, won his second start at the meet in the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes. He got a 100 Beyer Speed Figure while beating champion Marchfield. He subsequently finished fifth in the Dominion Day, a 1 1/4-mile stakes won by Marchfield.

Trainer Mac Benson scratched Ice Bear from the Grade 3 Seagram Cup Stakes on Aug. 3 in favor of the Aug. 9 With Approval Stakes.

"I just didn't think it was a good spot, with us giving weight to all those horses," Benson said of the Seagram Cup. "I would have run him if there'd been nowhere else to go."

Ice Bear set soft fractions in the nine-furlong With Approval before being caught late by Sterwins and winding up a neck back in second.

Chantal Sutherland, who won a pair of yearling sale stakes last Monday, will ride Ice Bear for Augustin Stable.

Mike Fox captured the 2007 Queen's Plate in a stirring finish over Alezzandro, who turned the tables on him in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

Mike Fox has scored only once in the past two years, which was an allowance victory in July 2008. He adds blinkers Friday, and trainer David Bell has enlisted a new rider for him, Jim McAleney.

Alezzandro spent the winter in Florida, where he ran third in an optional claimer on the grass at Gulfstream. He has performed well in each of his four appearances here this year and won his first race since the Prince of Wales most recently in a second-level allowance/optional claimer on the Polytrack.

Todd Kabel will ride Alezzandro for trainer Kevin Attard.

Sligovitz nearly landed the third leg of the 2008 Triple Crown, the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Stakes, ducking out sharply in the stretch before rallying for second. Trained by Roger Attfield, he has started three times here this year and is exiting a third-place finish in the With Approval.