09/11/2008 11:00PM

Mine That Bird out to triple up


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Bird is the word for Sunday's Swynford Stakes here at Woodbine.

The $150,000 Swynford, a seven-furlong race for 2-year-olds that will play a supporting role to the Grade 2 Natalma, attracted a field of six, and Mine That Bird should be favored as he goes in search of his third straight victory.

Trained by Dave Cotey, Mine That Bird finished fifth in his debut, then won his maiden for a $62,500 claiming price over six furlongs and rallied for a two-length win in the 6 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy Stakes here Aug. 23.

"I'm looking forward to running him at the longer distance," said Cotey. "With his running style and demeanor, I think it would be to his liking the farther they go.

"There's speed in this race, by the look of it. His style is to sit back and make a run at it. We just need to have a little luck on our side."

Mine That Bird drew well in post 5, and Chantal Sutherland - who was aboard for the first time in the Silver Deputy - again will ride.

Win and Reign is the other stakes winner in the Swynford. He ran fourth in his debut, then won his maiden in his second career appearance, which came in the Vandal, a six-furlong stakes for Ontario-foaled 2-year-olds here Aug 10.

"He's a very talented little horse, and he'll do what you want him to do," said Martha Gonzalez, wife and assistant to Win and Reign's trainer, Nick Gonzalez. "In his last race nobody else wanted the lead, and he found himself out there. This race is tougher, because it's open, but our next step is to see if he'll go longer. He's very competitive."

David Clark retains the mount on Win and Reign, a homebred colt who races for Garland Williamson's Hillsbrook Farm.

El Brujo was beaten a neck as the runner-up in the Vandal and returns in the Swynford.

A gelding owned by Windways Farm and trained by Malcolm Pierce, El Brujo also finished second in the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon after graduating over 4 1/2 furlongs at first asking.

"I thought he was unlucky not to win his last race," said Pierce. "He's come back and worked very well, and is going into this race in good order.

"I don't think the seven furlongs will be a problem. He's acted like he will run a little bit farther."

Emma-Jayne Wilson again gets the call on El Brujo.

Rounding out the Swynford field will be Dryden, who ended second behind the talented Southern Exchange in the six-furlong Colin and third in the Silver Deputy, and the Reade Baker-trained pair of Lord of Greatness and Bear's Conductor, both of whom are coming off maiden victories.

Utterly Cool preps in style

Utterly Cool was nominated to the Swynford, but his trainer, Sid Attard, elected to keep the gelding on the turf for Thursday's allowance prep for the Summer Stakes.

The result was very impressive as Utterly Cool, who had won his six-furlong turf debut by five lengths here Aug. 17, ran off to a 7 1/2-length victory over seven furlongs.

"It looks like he's a very nice horse," said Sid Attard, who trains Utterly Cool for owner-breeder Mel Lawson's Jim Dandy Stable. They elected to start the Ontario-bred on turf because his dam, Destroy, had produced some decent grass runners.

"We were hoping he'd run big, and then go in the Summer Stakes," Sid Attard said.

The winner of the Grade 3, $300,000 Summer over one mile of turf will earn an automatic berth in Santa Anita's $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, which also will be run over one mile on Oct. 25.

The Summer will be run here Oct. 4 along with the Canadian International, E.P. Taylor, and Nearctic.

High Mist to Presque Isle?

High Mist, an Ontario-bred 2-year-old filly trained by Baker, also ran her record to 2 for 2 with an impressive first-level allowance victory over 6 1/2 furlongs here Thursday.

"She showed after her second or third work that she would be there right away," said Baker, who trains High Mist for Norman Chernie and Wendy Anderson and first sent her out to win over six furlongs here Aug. 17.

"I was shocked, because of her pedigree - her father's a route horse," Baker said.

High Mist might make her next start in the $100,000 Presque Isle Debutante, a six-furlong race on Sept. 27. The $150,000 Fanfreluche, a six-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 18, also is a potential target.

She's Indy Money back in training

Pierce recently welcomed a stakes winner back to his barn - She's Indy Money, whose 2007 campaign was cut short by an injury. She is slowly gearing up for a return to action and worked four furlongs in 49.20 seconds here Friday morning.

"We'll try to get her ready for something here late in the meet - if not, then for Fair Grounds," said Pierce, who already is planning his annual campaign in New Orleans. "It's nice to have her back in the barn. She's a talented mare. She can go short or long, on turf, dirt, or Polytrack."

She's Indy Money won 4 of her 6 starts last year, including the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron and the Gradeoo3, seven-furlong Seaway in her last two starts at Woodbine.

The Kentucky-bred 5-year-old, who races for Live Oak Plantation, was the runner-up in the Sovereign Award voting for the older female category.

Use of whip discussed

More than 50 representatives from a broad cross-section of the Ontario horse racing community gathered Wednesday for a special session on the use of the whip.

The Ontario Racing Commission, in a press release issued Thursday, said the group agreed that the status quo was not an acceptable option.

While generally recognizing that the whip is a necessary "tool" in racing, the welfare of the horse, the safety of all participants, consistent rules and enforcement, and public perception were identified as areas which would have to be addressed.