08/24/2008 11:00PM

Just Rushing makes up for lost time


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Just Rushing got a late start to his current campaign, as he did not see action until July 19.

But the 7-year-old gelding, who is trained by Sid Attard, has been making up for lost time and registered the biggest win of his career here in Saturday's Grade 2, $215,600 Play the King over seven furlongs of turf.

"Last year, he came up with some problems in his last race," said Attard, who had watched Just Rushing wind up his 2007 season with a third-place finish in the six-furlong Kennedy Road here Nov. 18. "We had to give him some time off."

Just Rushing has raced strictly on turf this season, finishing third in the seven-furlong Ontario Jockey Club and second, beaten a nose by Wollemi Pine, in the 6 1/2-furlong Play the King prep on Aug. 1.

And now Just Rushing, who earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 101 for his 1 1/4-length victory in the Play the King, may shoot for the stars in the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile on Sept. 7.

"He ran huge, and it's a little soon back for him," Attard said. "I'd prefer more time but we'll see."

Leading rider Jim McAleney, who has taken over as Just Rushing's pilot this season, recorded his seventh stakes win of the meeting.

Wollemi Pine, Mulmur eye Woodbine Mile

Wollemi Pine, a 4-year-old gelding who was the Play the King runner-up under regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson, and Mulmur, who finished fourth under Eurico Rosa da Silva, also are possibilities for the Woodbine Mile.

"He tries hard every time we take him over," said Ian Black, who trains Wollemi Pine.

"We'll see if he can come back quickly enough for the Mile, see who's coming, and see if it makes any sense."

Mulmur, a 5-year-old gelding, was beaten 2 1/4 lengths in the Play the King after upsetting the Ontario Jockey Club in his last start.

"He was getting hung wide and had to take back off the pace," trainer Mark Frostad said. "He lost some lengths; he had a lot to do. But he came on and ran very well.

"We'll see how he comes out of this race and see how he trains."

Rahy's Attorney cutting back

Black has a second Woodbine Mile candidate in Rahy's Attorney, a homebred 4-year-old gelding who races for Elle Boje Farm and partners.

Rahy's Attorney finished fourth last time out in the Grade 2 Nijinsky, a 1 1/4-mile turf race here Aug. 4, after running second in the 1 1/2-mile Singspiel earlier in the meeting.

"I might have been trying to stretch him too much," Black said. "Any time he's run a mile, or a mile and a sixteenth, he's generally won."

Glitter Rox captures first stakes

Black and the Elle Boje team were front and center here Sunday when Glitter Rox, a homebred 4-year-old, registered her first stakes victory in the $101,200 Belle Geste, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares.

Glitter Rox had last seen action in the Repercussion, an open 6 1/2-furlong turf race on July 9. The Repercussion was a prep for the Royal North, a Grade 3, six-furlong turf race on Aug. 2, which had been Glitter Rox's original goal.

"She had some filling in her pastern," Black said. "She missed five days of training.

"But I wasn't really that concerned. She's a pretty light filly. She trains herself pretty hard on a daily basis."

Glitter Rox certainly showed no signs of rustiness as she stalked the pace in the Belle Geste and came on to score by a length, giving jockey Chantal Sutherland her sixth stakes win of the meeting.

With no filly/mare turf sprints remaining on the schedule here, Black will have to explore other avenues.

"She certainly seems like she's a lot better on turf, but there's no reason she can't run on Polytrack," Black said.

Mine That Bird targeting Swynford

Sutherland also visited the stakes winner's circle Saturday when Mine That Bird, a 2-year-old colt trained by Dave Cotey, captured the 6 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy by two lengths.

"He did that pretty easily, and he ran real greenly," said Cotey, who owns Mine That Bird with Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith.

Mine That Bird, a Kentucky-bred, registered his second straight win in the $100,400 Silver Deputy after graduating with a $62,500 claiming price over six furlongs here Aug. 23.

"He has a big, long stride for a little horse," Cotey said. "I think he'll get better as we go forward."

Cotey has circled the $150,000 Swynford, an open seven-furlong race here Sept. 14, as the next major target for Mine That Bird, with the Grade 3, $250,000 Grey at 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 5 a subsequent goal.

"I've always felt the farther, the better, with him," said Cotey, who registered his first stakes win of the season.

Koonunga Hill wins turf debut

Koonunga Hill took her trainer, Steve Owens, to the stakes winner's circle for the first time at the meeting here Sunday, following her nose victory in the $109,500 Ice Water under regular rider Constant Montpellier.

The Ice Water, a seven-furlong turf race for 2-year-old fillies, is a prep for the Grade 3, $150,000 Natalma, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for the same set here Sept. 14. The Natalma is a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In race.

Koonunga Hill was trying turf for the first time in the open Ice Water after finishing second in the six-furlong Nandi for Ontario-sired fillies here Aug. 24.

"Her whole family moved up on the turf," said Owens, citing Koonunga Hill's half-brother Legal Heir and half-sister Moment of Peace as examples. "I expected her to move up, too."

What Owens did not expect was to see Koonunga Hill setting the pace in the Ice Water.

"She was so sharp, she just broke out in front," he said.

Despite her success in the Ice Water, Owens plans to bypass the Natalma with Koonunga Hill.

"I'll leave it as an option, but you're going to get some of the best around coming for the Natalma," Owens said. "We'll take the easiest route we can."

That path could lead to the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies here Nov. 1.

"She'll get two turns, no problem," said Owens, adding that Koonunga Hill would have to be an entry-day supplement to the Princess Elizabeth, which would cost $7,500.