10/04/2009 12:00AM

Pool Play runs down Ice Bear


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Pool Play overtook favored Ice Bear in the stretch to notch his first stakes Sunday at Woodbine in the 99th running of the Grade 3, $169,875 .

Pool Play ($25.30) trailed early, as Tiz Late set fractions of 24.37 and 48.64 seconds in the nine-furlong Polytrack route.

Pool Play commenced a five-wide rally heading into the far turn, and then hit the front just inside the eighth pole before holding Ice Bear at bay for a one-length win. Palladio wound up third in the eight-horse field. Marlang was scratched.

Pool Play covered the distance in 1:49.24, which was just .05 of a second off the track record.

"He's always a relaxed horse," said jockey Phil Husbands. "He drew the one-hole, and there was a lot of speed. After we left there, I wanted to get him outside, so he'd be comfortable. I was stalking [Ice Bear] the whole way. I had so much horse, and was just waiting on him. When I set him down, he just blew by."

Pool Play collected $103,500 for owner Bill Farish Jr. and trainer Mark Casse.

* Soul of Nataka ($12.20) came wide from well back to nose out First Circle for the top spot in the $151,200 Carotene, for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Richard Dos Ramos rode Soul of Nataka, who ran nine furlongs over yielding turf in 1:52.42. The winner is trained by Roger Attfield.