09/25/2008 11:00PM

Locals get in tune-ups for Summer


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Utterly Cool and Grand Adventure, who are among the locally based candidates for the Grade 3, $300,000 Summer, a one-mile race for 2-year-olds that will be run here Saturday, both breezed five furlongs on the training track turf course here Friday morning. The Summer is a Win and You're In race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

Utterly Cool, undefeated and virtually untested in his only two starts to date, went in 1:01.20 under his regular rider, Richard Dos Ramos, while working in company with stablemate Wookin to Run, a 4-year-old gelding who was clocked in 1:01.40.

Grand Adventure was timed in 1:01.60 under jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva while working with Sam-Son Farm stablemate Dance Into Heaven, who had Slade Callaghan in the irons and finished in the same time.

Utterly Cool, a homebred who races for Mel Lawson's Jim Dandy Stable, won a maiden race by five lengths over six furlongs on firm turf in his debut and then scored by 7 1/2 lengths in the seven-furlong Summer prep over yielding going.

Grand Adventure, a Kentucky-bred trained by Mark Frostad, was a 3 1/4-length winner when he debuted in a maiden race over seven furlongs of good turf.

Dance Into Heaven, a homebred gelding who finished a close second debuting over a mile and 70 yards, is heading for the Grade 3, $250,000 Grey, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds here next Sunday.

Another serious local candidate for the Summer is Skipadate, a Florida-bred trained by Mark Casse.

Skipadate started twice at Saratoga, finishing in a dead heat for the win in a 1 1/16-mile turf race and then missing by a head as the runner-up in the With Anticipation, an overnight stakes over the same distance and surface.

Bonanza still seeks follow-up win

Bonanza, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Wando here this April but blanked in three subsequent starts, will be looking to find the range again here in Sunday's 1 1/8 mile Ontario Derby.

A Kentucky-bred owned by Will Farish, Bonanza followed his Wando score with a second-place finish here in the 1 1/16-mile Victoria Park.

Bonanza then was a rather flat fourth here in the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park before running second in the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs on Aug. 4.

"He missed a little time after that. He stuck a splinter in his neck," said Casse. "I contemplated not running him here, but he seems to be doing quite well."

Casse also will send out Catch Air, who will ensure an honest pace and is a threat to steal the show on a repeat of his effort in the Victoria Park.

Catch Air opened up a lengthy lead in the June 8 Victoria Park but failed to hold off Arlington invader Secret Getaway, who is returning for the Ontario Derby.

Ice Bear heads strong supporting cast

A stakes-caliber field will do battle in Sunday's supporting feature, an open allowance over one mile of turf.

Heading the group of eight is Ice Bear, a 4-year-old gelding who is coming off a solid fourth-place finish in the Sept. 7 Woodbine Mile.

"He's been doing great," said Mac Benson, who trains the homebred Ice Bear for George Strawbridge Jr. "He just needs to have a good trip."

Ice Bear has breezed once since the Woodbine Mile, going a sharp five furlongs in 59 seconds last Sunday under his regular rider, Chantal Sutherland. While Ice Bear will be favored, there will be plenty of sentimental and mutuel support for Le Cinquieme Essai, a 9-year-old gelding with career earnings of $1,418,803.

Le Cinquieme Essai, owned and bred by Bill Scott and trained by Paul Nielsen, has started twice this year.

After finishing second behind 31-1 upsetter Mulmur in the Ontario Jockey Club over seven furlongs of turf, Le Cinquieme Essai ended seventh when seeking his third straight win in the Play the King over the same distance and surface.

Nielsen had considered sending Le Cinquieme Essai to Saturday's Grade 3 Robert F. Carey Memorial, a $150,000 race at one mile on turf at Hawthorne, but elected to stay and hope that Sunday's race here filled.

"He scoped okay after the Play the King; everything was good," said Nielsen. "I just kind of threw the race out.

"He's worked well since then. He's as healthy as I can have him."

Solitaire makes another appearance

Solitaire, the third-place finisher in the Queen's Plate, came back in from Saratoga for a 1 1/8-mile maiden race here Friday and finished second at 2-5 under rider Robert Landry.

Trained by Jim Bond, Solitaire had run a close second behind subsequent Queen's Plate winner Not Bourbon in the Plate Trial and most recently ended third in the Breeders' over 1 1/2 miles on turf on Aug. 3.

Solitaire, reserved off a slow pace, moved strongly around the final turn but could not run down Pool Play, the 5-1 second choice who prevailed by a length to graduate in his fourth start for trainer Mark Casse.

Solitaire picked up $14,520 to bring his earnings to $213,300 from five starts.

Mulmur best of morning on turf

Mulmur breezed five furlongs on the training turf course in a bullet 59.60 seconds here Friday in preparation for next Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Nearctic, a six-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

A 5-year-old homebred gelding who races for Sam-Son and is trained by Frostad, Mulmur had Eurico Rosa da Silva in the irons as he worked in company with Forever Red, a 4-year-old filly who was clocked in 1:00.40.

Mulmur followed up his Ontario Jockey Club score with a close fourth-place fin1ish in the Play the King, but then ended a troubled sixth in the Woodbine Mile over yielding going.