10/08/2008 11:00PM

Sugar Bay comes back quickly for season finale


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sugar Bay, riding the crest of a four-race win streak, will be looking to put the icing on the cake when she makes her last start of the season in Saturday's $150,000 Carotene at Woodbine.

The Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies, attracted a field of eight and Sugar Bay will be odds-on.

Her most recent victory came in the La Lorgnette, an open stakes for 3-year-old fillies here Sept. 27.

"I ordinarily wouldn't do this," said Sugar Bay's trainer, Mac Benson, referring to running back Sugar Bay on just two weeks' rest. "But, it's the last spot I have to run her in. Hopefully, she'll show herself."

Sugar Bay tuned up for the Carotene with a four-furlong breeze in 49.20 seconds here Tuesday.

"If you don't do something with her, she gets above herself," said Benson. "I know I can hold her, but I didn't know if I could hold her through Saturday."

The chief opposition to Sugar Bay will be provided by Northern Kraze, winner of the Wonder Where over 1 1/4 miles of yielding turf for her trainer and co-owner, Mark Frostad.

Northern Kraze was scheduled to face Sugar Bay in the Ontario Colleen but was a vet scratch.

"She'd spiked a temperature two days before, and we had to treat her," said Frostad. "It was just bad timing."

When Northern Kraze returned to action on Sept. 12, she was making her first start in seven weeks. Facing a field including older rivals in a second-level optional $62,500 claimer over 1 1/16 miles of yielding turf, Northern Kraze led into the stretch but weakened to finish third, beaten 4 1/2 lengths.

"Coming off that treatment, I thought she ran pretty well," said Frostad. "She was pretty rank early up on the pace.

"That certainly wasn't her best race, but she's ready now. She should be back to herself."

Sutherland winds up on Northern Kraze

An interesting subplot for the Carotene involves jockey Chantal Sutherland, who has been the regular rider of both Sugar Bay and Northern Kraze.

Although Sutherland has moved her tack to California, where she also will be working on a television series, she will be back in town for the Carotene.

Sutherland had won two straight aboard Sugar Bay heading into the Ontario Colleen but had a commitment to Northern Kraze and wound up watching Sugar Bay score under Jono Jones when her mount was scratched.

Although Sutherland went on to ride both Sugar Bay and Northern Kraze in their next starts, that earlier commitment still took precedence and Jones will be back aboard Sugar Bay.

Meanwhile, Sutherland made her debut at the Santa Anita meeting on Wednesday and finished second, beaten a head, aboard 43-1 shot Weevescent in her only ride on the card.

Ginger Brew will await Jammed Lovely

Ginger Brew, who last saw action in the June 22 Queen's Plate, originally been scheduled to return in the Carotene but was behind schedule. And, although she is nominated to the Oct. 19 Maple Leaf, Ginger Brew will not make that race either.

"I didn't have enough time to get her ready for the Carotene or the Maple Leaf," said trainer Brian Lynch. "But, she'll be spot-on for the Jammed Lovely. That's a nice distance to bring her back for a winter campaign."

The $150,000 Jammed Lovely, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies, will be run here Nov. 9.

The race would be of particular significance to Ginger Brew because it would mark her third start this season in Canada, which is the minimum requirement for Sovereign Award consideration.

Ginger Brew was a romping winner of the Woodbine Oaks in her only other appearance at the meeting.

Lynch may run only one in Durham Cup

Lynch has entered Ghost Hour and Royal Challenger in Saturday's Durham Cup but both may not run.

Ghost Hour, a 4-year-old, and Royal Challenger, a 5-year-old, both are coming off a win.

Ghost Hour was successful over 1 1/16 miles in a third-level optional $80,000 claimer here Sept. 4.

"He's almost got to the end of his conditions, and he's doing so well that I figured that he deserves a shot," said Lynch.

Royal Challenger was making his first start in 10 months when he scored at 1 1/8 miles in a fourth-level optional $80,000 claimer here Sept. 14.

"I thought it was a great effort, on the comeback," said Lynch. "He's come on since then. I couldn't be happier with him, either.

"If I don't run him in here, I'll point him towards to the Sky Classic."

The Grade 2, $250,000 Sky Classic, a 1 3/8-mile turf race, will be run here Oct. 25.

Archers Alyancer runs down speed

Archers Alyancer ($20.80), the longest shot in a five-horse field, captured his first Woodbine stakes in the seven-furlong $100,000 Mt. Sassafras on Wednesday night.

Archers Alyancer stalked a three-horse speed battle on the turn and overhauled Shadowless at the sixteenth pole en route to a half-length score in 1:21.29.

Shadowless finished a clear second after prevailing in the front-end battle with Dancer's Bajan and Written in Stone. The favored Yummy With Butter mounted a wide rally from last to end up third. Second choice Dancer's Bajan faded to fourth, and Written in Stone trailed the field of Ontario-breds.

Constant Montpellier, who won three races on the card, rode the 6-year-old Archers Alyancer for the Fort Erie-based trainer John Simms.

"It's about time we got some luck with this horse," said Simms. "He's legit. He's been knocking on the door all year."

Rare triple dead heat

Wednesday's card also featured a triple dead heat for third place in the fifth race as the photo finish camera was unable to separate Bob's Ring, My Bad, and Bare With Me.

All three were starting for the first time in the five-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old maidens.

The tote system was temporarily unable to cope with the workload and there was a delay in posting the payoffs.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink