06/23/2009 11:00PM

Stakes winners add appeal to feature


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes winners Jimmy Simms and Just Rushing are among a six-horse field of salty older runners in Friday's Woodbine feature, a third-level allowance and $80,000 optional claimer scheduled for 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass.

Jimmy Simms, a 4-year-old trained by Steven Asmussen, found his calling last fall on turf. He graduated with authority in his first start over Woodbine's expansive course, and then doubled up in a first-level allowance, employing front-running tactics for the second straight time.

Jimmy Simms was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill in November, but finished a commendable third behind Nistle's Crunch and Seaspeak, both of whom returned to prevail in allowance company.

Jimmy Simms came from off the pace to capture the Woodchopper Stakes at the Fair Grounds in December, over a good field that included future Grade 1 winner Macho Again. He has been idle since Feb. 7, when he faded to fifth after setting a tepid pace in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap.

Luis Contreras, who has ridden all but one of Asmussen's starters at the meeting, has the mount.

Just Rushing, a five-time stakes winner trained by Sid Attard, trailed an 11-horse field in his lone outing this year on Polytrack in the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes, a race he won in 2007.

Just Rushing had a lucrative 2008 campaign, during which he banked $320,321 while competing almost exclusively on turf. He took the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes in August, and was third behind Rahy's Attorney and Ventura in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in September.

Just Rushing's last score was in the one-mile Labeeb Stakes over yielding ground in October, which came under current rider Emma Wilson. He competes with the $80,000 claiming price on Friday.

Just Rushing is coupled with Jungle Wave, who was claimed by Tucci Stable from his last start for $62,500. Jungle Wave won that six-furlong Polytrack sprint with a Beyer Speed Figure of 92.

Jungle Wave performed well on the grass last year in Southern California. He notched a first-level allowance/optional claimer at Hollywood, and finished a close third in a division of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar.

The Great Caruso hasn't won since his victory in a five-furlong optional claimer in the spring of 2008, and is exiting a dull effort in his season opener.