09/16/2008 11:00PM

Lion Ridge brings solid form on turf


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Lion Ridge stands out on current form in Friday's Woodbine headliner, a first-level allowance scheduled for 1 3/8 miles on the grass.

Lion Ridge, an Irish-bred 4-year-old owned by Stronach Stable, was a bust in his first three starts, which were all in Europe. He was sent to trainer Brian Lynch prior to this campaign and was victorious in his local debut in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special in June, receiving an 82 Beyer Speed Figure.

Lion Ridge showed his prowess at 1 1/2 miles last time, despite competing out of his proper condition in a $62,500 optional claimer. He came from off slow fractions to finish second behind another European import, Spice Route, who came back to finish a close fifth in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer BC Turf.

Simon Husbands retains the mount on Lion Ridge, who is by Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Montjeu, Europe's champion 3-year-old in 1999.

Dynamalt took some time to put it all together and finally got his maiden victory traveling 1 3/8 miles in April at Churchill. After slumping in the spring at Belmont, he was shipped here to trainer Roger Attfield, who sent him out to finish third in a 1 1/4-mile allowance that was taken off the grass July 13.

Dynamalt's last race also was switched to the Poly, and he came from off slow fractions to end up second in the 1 1/2-mile allowance.

River Heights possesses a turf record of 1-4-5 in 14 starts, for earnings of $158,897. He is winless since his maiden triumph a year ago, but is in peak form for trainer Paul Attard.

River Heights has stuck to middle distances this summer and was recently a wide-closing third in the restricted Halton Stakes. His new rider, Justin Stein, replaces Emma Wilson, who is sticking with Dynamalt.

Dans a Dancin checked in fourth in each of his four most recent outings, all on the Polytrack. A son of successful turf sire Langfuhr, he is out of a Woodman mare who was a multiple allowance winner on the grass.

If What So What, who never challenged in his lone turf excursion, is coming off an eye-catching maiden win around two turns.

Rounding out the field are Forty Creek and Major Gold, who are both stepping up from $40,000 claiming company.