10/04/2010 1:22PM

Southdale will close out campaign in Grade 2 Autumn

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Michael Burns
Southdale relished his return to Woodbine's main track for Sunday's Durham Cup.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Southdale had experimented with turf racing here at Woodbine this summer, finishing third in the 1 1/8-mile King Edward and fifth in the seven-furlong Play the King.

“The turf program here is so lucrative, you’ve got to give it a shot,” said Ian Black, who trains the homebred 4-year-old Southdale for Rod Ferguson. “It worked out in the end, anyway.”

Black was speaking after watching Southdale come from just off the pace and work his way out of a tight spot to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths under Jim McAleney in Sunday’s Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Durham Cup on Polytrack.

“He ran great,” said Black. “He quickened away from those horses, like we thought he could.”

Southdale was recording his second main-track stakes win of the season, having previously captured the Grade 3 Eclipse at 1 1/16 miles here June 5.

His winner’s share in the $173,500 Durham Cup was $108,000, including an $18,000 Ontario-bred bonus, and he should be looking to pull down a similar prize in the Grade  2, $150,000 Autumn at 1 1/16 miles here Nov. 13.

“After that we’ll give him a break, and take him to Florida,” said Black. “He could race at Gulfstream this winter.”

In the meantime, Black is looking forward to starting Fifty Proof in the Grade 1, $2 million Canadian International, a 1 1/2-mile turf race here Oct. 16.

Fifty Proof, coming off a close second-place finish over the same course and distance in the Sept. 19 Northern Dancer, had his first breeze since then here Saturday with five furlongs in a black-letter 1:00.60 under regular rider Justin Stein.

Ferrer fined after winning ride in Carotene

Black was back in the stakes winner’s circle two races later on Sunday’s card.

But, this time Black was appearing as the presenter of the winner’s trophy in the $150,800 Carotene, named in honor of the superb mare who raced for Kinghaven Farm during his lengthy tenure there as farm manager.

The recipient was trainer Greg De Gannes, who sent out Jenny’s So Great to win the 1  1/8-mile turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

Jenny’s So Great, owned by Bill and Vicki Poston, had shown plenty of promise at 2 but had disappointed this season and was dropped in for a $40,000 claiming tag in July.

After scoring convincingly that day, Jenny’s So Great has switched to turf and, in the words of De Gannes, “has taken a new lease on life”."

The Carotene was the first stakes victory for Jenny’s So Great, the first of the season for De  Gannes, and the first Woodbine win for jockey Jose Ferrer, a regular at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania.

Her Carotene journey was not uneventful, however, as Jenny’s So Great had nowhere to go in upper stretch before cutting back to the inside and going on to a 1 1/2-length victory.

“I was glad to see him get her back down to the rail,” said De Gannes. “She ran well.”

Ferrer’s joy was somewhat short-lived as he was called in by the stewards and fined $1,800 for striking his mount more than three times in succession during the stretch run.

The amount of the fine equates to 20 percent of Ferrer’s $9,000 share of the $90,000 winner’s purse, as spelled out by Ontario Racing Commission rules for whip violations in stakes races.

Meanwhile, De Gannes is not sure whether Jenny’s So Great will see action again this season.

“There’s not much else here for 3-year-old fillies,” said De Gannes. “She might just go to Florida, and I’ll give her a break and then get her ready for a Gulfstream campaign. I think she’ll be a very good 4-year-old.”

Medabuck may run once more in Fanfreluche

Medabuck gave trainer Terry Jordan, jockey Jim McAleney, and owner James Redekop their second straight win in the Victorian Queen, a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies run here last Saturday.

Jordan had sent out Medabuck to win first crack out in a restricted five-furlong maiden race and doubled up in the Victorian Queen, with both wins coming in front-running fashion.

“I like her quite a bit,” said Jordan. “She just turned the corner a couple of months ago. I just took my time with her.”

Medabuck could start once more this year with the $150,000 Fanfreluche, a six-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 24, being under consideration. “I’m not sure whether I’ll run her there, or turn her out,” said Jordan.

Oistins, who also had won the Nandi as a 2-year-old, finished last of six for a $25,000 claiming price here Sunday.

Jordan recently sold the filly back to her breeder, trainer Gord Colbourne, for whom he acquired her on private terms prior to her debut last spring.

River Memories next for Sugar Bay

Sugar Bay gave trainer Mac Benson and jockey Luis Contreras their first stakes wins of the meeting when she captured Saturday’s $100,000 Belle Geste, a seven-furlong overnight turf stakes for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares.

“She’s solid,” said Benson, who trains the 5-year-old Sugar Bay for her owner and breeder George Strawbridge Jr. “She kind of runs her race every time she goes over there.”

Sugar Bay was recording her fifth career stakes win but her first since the 2008 Carotene, which was her final start of a campaign in which she went 6 for 9 and earned $561,660.
 

"We brought her out last year and she just went wrong in behind,” said Benson. “We had to give her the year off.”

Sugar Bay now has won two of her last three starts and finished in the money in six of seven outings this season.

Benson already has selected the $100,000 River Memories, a one-mile overnight turf stakes for fillies and mares here Oct. 30, as Sugar Bay’s next target.

“I would think that would be right up her alley,” said Benson. “And if it comes off the turf, that wouldn’t matter a bit.”

Invitation Only moves to Frostad’s barn

Invitation Only, an Ontario-sired 2-year-old gelding who won the seven-furlong Simcoe in his last start for his majority owner and trainer Dave Cotey, has been sold to New York-based owner Earle Mack.

The private transaction was finalized last Friday and Invitation Only was moved to the barn of trainer Mark Frostad, who sent out the gelding to breeze five furlongs in 1:01 here Sunday.

Invitation Only, a half-brother to two-time Canadian female turf champion Inish Glora, is being pointed for the $250,000 Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds here Oct. 17.