10/16/2015 10:16AM

Passion for Action gets toughest test in Nearctic

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Michael Burns
Passion for Action will start in Sunday's Grade 2, $300,000 Nearctic Stakes.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Passion for Action appears to be a 3-year-old with a future. He will get his sternest test to date on Sunday’s Canadian International undercard at Woodbine in the Grade 2, $300,000 Nearctic Stakes.

The highlight of Passion for Action’s 2-year-old campaign was a decisive victory in the rich Cup and Saucer Stakes on the grass. He was late getting started this year and was along for second off an eight-month layoff in a second-level optional claimer July 25.

“He had a little bone bruising in Florida, which set us back a bit,” trainer Mike De Paulo said. “It was kind of disappointing, but he’s good now.”

Passion for Action went on to finish a creditable fourth against older opposition in the Grade 2 Play the King while just missing third to the classy Kaigun.

This six-furlong turf sprint is wide open. Carded as the fourth race, it is the first leg of the early pick four, which has a guaranteed pool of $300,000.

KEY CONTENDERS

Passion for Action (Last 3 Beyers: 81-87-88)

◗ The Benjamin Hutzel homebred by Speightstown came from the trailing fourth position to prevail in his last race in a seven-furlong optional claimer that was taken off the turf.

“He’s okay on the Poly, but I think he’s better on turf,” De Paulo said. “We’ll go the grass route and see what happens. He’s a nice little horse, and I’d love to get some graded black type for the mare.”

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Terror (North American debut)

◗ The 3-year-old filly from England encountered some traffic while running second in a stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 10.

◗ Her trainer, David Simcock, captured last year’s Nearctic with the stretch runner Caspar Netscher.

The Great War (Last 3 Beyers: 86-43-93)

◗ He bled in a poor showing early in the year and has competed just once since, finishing second at Saratoga in the Quick Call to Ready for Rye, who subsequently won another stakes.

◗ His trainer, Wesley Ward, has struggled here in recent years, except for when he’s shipped in dead-fit sprinters on opening weekend.

Sweet Luca (Last 3 Beyers: 95-90-82)

◗ He turned back from a route to 6 1/2 furlongs last time and won the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash over an undulating course. The deep closer needs some speed to chase.

Spring to the Sky (Last 3 Beyers: 91-84-91)

◗ After being a minor player in a pair of stakes at Saratoga, he led throughout to win the six-furlong Laurel Dash over yielding ground Sept. 12.

Cyclogenisis (Last 3 Beyers: 85-79-83)

◗ He was a troubled fourth behind The Great War in the Quick Call after coming up empty in a Group 1 fixture at Royal Ascot.