10/23/2008 11:00PM

Just Rushing, Ice Bear rematched


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Just Rushing and Ice Bear, who finished third and fourth in the $1 million Woodbine Mile, will meet again here Sunday in the $100,000 Labeeb.

The Labeeb, an overnight stakes a one mile on turf, is the supporting feature to the $250,000 Cup and Saucer, which will be run over 1 1/16 miles of grass on the final day of turf racing at the meeting.

Just Rushing and Ice Bear both have raced once since the Sept. 7 Woodbine Mile.

Sid Attard, who trains Just Rushing for Carlo and Lou Tucci, sent out the 7-year-old Just Rushing to finish eighth in the Grade 2, $500,000 Nearctic, a six-furlong turf race here Oct. 4.

"It was too short for him, but he still ran a good race," said Attard, noting that Just Rushing was beaten just 4 1/2 lengths. "The mile should be perfect for him."

Just Rushing will be making his third consecutive appearance in the Labeeb. He romped by eight lengths when the race was taken off the turf and run over a mile and 70 yards here in 2006, and finished second, beaten a half-length by the returning Awesome Action, last year.

In his major work for the Labeeb, Just Rushing breezed six furlongs in 1:13.20 here last Sunday with exercise rider Andy Sykes in the irons.

"He worked very well, nice and easy," said Attard, who will give jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson a leg up on Just Rushing here Sunday.

Ice Bear made his latest appearance in an open allowance race over one mile of turf here Sept. 28 and was a comfortable winner.

Mac Benson also had nominated Ice Bear to Saturday's Sky Classic at 1 3/8 miles of turf but has opted to keep him in familiar territory.

"I didn't think now was the time to try him at a mile and three-eighths," said Benson, who conditions the 4-year-old gelding for owner/breeder George Strawbridge Jr. "It's been a very productive year for him; he's won over $300,000."

Ice Bear also won a third-level optional claiming race over one mile of turf and the restricted 1 1/8-mile With Approval on the main track, and finished second in the Grade 2 King Edward over 1 1/8 miles of turf.

With his recent regular rider, Chantal Sutherland, having moved her tack to California, Ice Bear will be ridden for the first time Sunday by Jono Jones.

"He's coming into this race good," said Benson, who sent out Ice Bear to breeze five furlongs in 1:01 on the main track with Jones in the irons here last Sunday. "I certainly was pleased with his work on Poly; it showed he's on his game."

DePaulo gives stakes shot to two maidens

Trainer Mike DePaulo won last year's Cup and Saucer with Deputiformer, who was one of seven maidens in the field of 13.

On Sunday, DePaulo will send out both Collerosa and Khabibulin in search of their first victories in the Cup and Saucer, which is restricted to Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

Collerosa is coming into the Cup and Saucer off a closing third-place finish in a maiden race over one mile of turf here Oct. 5.

Khabibulin finished a solid second in his only start, which came over seven furlongs of Polytrack here Oct. 3.

Collerosa came in to the racetrack early this year but kept DePaulo waiting.

"It took a while for his knees to close," said DePaulo. "I was kind of behind the 8-ball with him.

"But he started out training okay, and the farther I got with him the better he trained. He galloped out good in his works, and seemed like a horse that wanted to run on."

Collerosa debuted on Sept. 14 and was a rallying second, beaten a half-length, when breaking from the outside post in the field of 10 over 5 1/2 furlongs of Polytrack.

"We needed to get a race into him," said DePaulo. "He ran a good race from a bad post, and he galloped out good."

With an eye toward the Cup and Saucer, DePaulo jumped at the chance to stretch out Collerosa on the turf for his next start.

"I thought he'd run real good in there," said DePaulo. "It was a roughly run race."

Khabibulin, a $180,000 yearling at the local select sale, was in Florida last winter.

"He was ready to run early in the summer," said DePaulo. "But one morning he jumped up in the air, dropped his rider in the ditch, and ran back to the barn."

Khabibulin paid dearly for his misdeeds as he soon became a gelding, which set back his program somewhat.

"He missed some time, but we wanted to focus on the fall races, anyway," said DePaulo. "He's a half to three stakes winners, including Maren's Meadow. I expected him to run well in his first race. I'm hoping he'll run on."

Collerosa and Khabibulin both participated in a special training session on the main turf course here last Sunday, with varying results.

With the dogs way out from the rail, Collerosa was clocked in 1:04.20 under jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson, who has the mount for the Cup and Saucer.

Khabibulin, however, did not work fast enough to make the work tab.

"He was kind of green out there, just kind of lost," said DePaulo. "It was hard to get a line on him."

Deputiformer tries to end drought

Meanwhile, Deputiformer is still looking for his second win despite having made 10 starts since the Cup and Saucer.

And, coincidentally, Deputiformer also will see action on Sunday's program in a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

"Maybe he'll pick this day to come through," said DePaulo. "He's run some good races this year; he just hasn't won."

Deputiformer competed in all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown and finished fourth in the Queen's Plate, fifth in the Prince of Wales, and sixth in the Breeders'.

Most recently, Deputiformer ended fifth in the 1 1/8-mile Ontario Derby on Sept. 28.