08/11/2010 11:58AM

Sugar Bay set for Woodbine breakthrough


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Sugar Bay has been knocking on the door in allowance/optional-claiming company at Woodbine, and she should be favored Friday in a seven-furlong sprint that is scheduled for the turf.

Sugar Bay won four consecutive stakes during her breakout 3-year-old campaign in 2008, but she missed all of 2009. Following a 1 1/2-year layoff, she wound up fourth May 16 in the allowance prep for the Nassau Stakes.

Sugar Bay finished second at a short price in each of her last three excursions. Most recently, traveling 1 1/16 miles on the grass, she was blocked behind rivals early in the stretch before surging late to end up second behind the talented Impossible Time. Sugar Bay won her last two seven-furlong starts, which were both on Polytrack, including the 2008 Duchess Stakes. Luis Contreras will ride the Mac Benson-trained Sugar Bay, who breezed five-eighths in 59.40 over the turf training course last Sunday.

Sheraton Park should be effective if able to cut loose on the lead, a strong possibility in a field without another confirmed front-runner.

Sheraton Park captured 3 of 6 starts last year, and finished third behind Points of Grace and Lomaki in the one-mile River Memories Stakes in October. She finished behind Sugar Bay in her three appearances this year.

Corey Fraser has the mount on Sheraton Park, a striking gray/roan mare trained by Mark Casse.

No Use Denying was stakes-placed on the dirt at the Fair Grounds early in the year. She ran two drab races on Polytrack in the spring before ending up third behind Impossible Time and Sugar Bay in her latest venture.

Trainer Malcolm Pierce said No Use Denying is better suited to middle distances, but should give a good account of herself on Friday as long as the race remains on the grass.

“It’s a tad on the short side for her,” said Pierce. “She’s doing good, and as long as it’s on the turf, I think we’ll be okay. I just hope that we have turf, because I think she really doesn’t like Polytrack. I think she’s a dirt or a turf filly.”

Flashy Got Even and Lemon Twirl are both exiting a victory at the second allowance classification.

Missit has been in declining form since her runner-up placing in the allowance prep for the Nassau.