09/20/2005 12:00AM

Stable starts big with Grade 2 win

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Bear's Kid, taking the Summer Stakes on Sunday, was the first Woodbine winner for Danny Dion's Bear Stables.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It didn't take long for Alberta-based owner Danny Dion to make his mark in Ontario racing.

Dion, who races as Bear Stables Ltd., had his first winner here last Sunday when Bear's Kid, who had finished second in the prep for the Summer Stakes on Sept. 1, came back to upset the under jockey Jim McAleney.

And, just to make the occasion a little more memorable, the Summer happened to be a Grade 2 stakes with a purse of $284,300.

"I thought that because of his breeding and his size, he would do good on turf," said Dion, who is in the oil business. "He's a humungous horse, and I thought it might be easier on his knees and ankles."

With turf racing not part of the Alberta menu, Dion looked to Woodbine and eventually hooked up with trainer Reade Baker.

"He said he was coming to Toronto to interview trainers, and asked if I was interested," said Baker. "I definitely was."

Now Dion, who has been in the racing game for six years but has become progressively more active over the past three seasons, is launching a serious invasion with another six 2-year-olds coming east from Edmonton.

Dale Greenwood, Dion's regular trainer, will accompany the troops on their trip east.

Dion plans to be back in town this weekend to watch one of the new arrivals, Bear Character, compete in Sunday's Swynford. The $125,000 Swynford is an open seven-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds.

Bear Character, a Kentucky-bred gelding, won the six-furlong Edmonton Juvenile at Northlands Park on July 29, then finished third there in the 6 1/2-furlong Birdcatcher on Sept. 5.

The other Bear Stables runners here will be Bear Trieste, a winner at first asking and sixth in the Edmonton Juvenile and fourth in the Birdcatcher; Bear Kitty Cat, King Skeeb, and Shivaree, each of whom has a third-place finish in one start; and Bear Attitude, fourth in his only trip postward.

Top Ten List's success a surprise

Top Ten List's wire-to-wire victory Saturday in the La Prevoyante didn't make the top three highlights here last weekend, with the focus being on Sunday's Grade 1 Atto Mile and its Grade 2 supporting features.

But that didn't stop Top Ten List from being a major hit for trainer Bob Tiller, who owns the 3-year-old filly in partnership with Frank DiGiulio.

"I thought she was going to be a nice Ontario-sired filly," said Tiller. "She's won three stakes now; she's made our year."

Top Ten List, unraced at 2, ran well in main-track sprints here this spring in her first four starts, but really has come into her own since discovering the turf course.

"She's a lovely individual," said Tiller, who also won a pair of races here on Sunday's card. "The turf, I'm surprised about."

Top Ten List has raced exclusively on the grass this summer and won the 6 1/2-furlong Ontario Damsel, the seven-furlong Passing Mood, and the one-mile La Prevoyante, all under regular rider Corey Fraser.

The Ontario Damsel was for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies, while the Passing Mood and La Prevoyante were for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

Top Ten List's only turf setback came in the 1 1/16-mile Victoriana, where she finished third when facing older Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

The Passing Mood and Victoriana were run on yielding courses and the La Prevoyante over soft going.

"I'd like to keep her on the grass," said Tiller, "and I'd like to see her hook a firm course. It was extremely soft on Saturday."

Top Ten List's next scheduled engagement is the $150,000 Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies here Oct. 8.

"That could be stretching it," said Tiller, noting that the distance will be the longest that Top Ten List has attempted.

Lakeville Rush heads for Hastings

Lakeville Rush, a winner of three of his last four starts here, was flown out from Woodbine on Monday night for Saturday's $250,000 British Columbia Derby at Hastings. The Grade 3 B.C. Derby is an open 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds.

"He shipped good, and everything's okay," said trainer Dave Dwyer, who also owns Lakeville Rush in partnership with Ruth Maudsley. "We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Lakeville Rush, a Florida-bred gelding, won his maiden by 12 1/4 lengths over 1 1/16 miles of muddy going in his second career start here last December. His victories this year came at six and seven furlongs on dirt and seven furlongs on turf.

Constant Montpellier, aboard for Lakeville Rush's last two wins, retains the mount. Montpellier finished third in last year's B.C. Derby aboard Ontario shipper Strike Em Hard.

Gerry Olguin also will be heading out to Hastings on Saturday to ride Zats It, trained by Alfredo Marquez, in the B.C. Derby.

Olguin, who moved his tack here from Vancouver in the fall of 1999, also will ride Royal Place for trainer Harold Barroby in Saturday's $40,000 Sir Winston Churchill Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Royal Place is owned by K.K. Sangara, whose main division is based here with trainer Lorne Richards.