08/26/2008 11:00PM

Sugar Bay, Verdana Bold clash


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sugar Bay and Verdana Bold, who were separated by a nose as the one-two finishers in the seven-furlong Duchess Aug. 9, will meet again on different terms at Woodbine on Saturday.

The surface this time is turf and the distance is one mile for the Ontario Colleen, a $150,000 stakes for 3-year-old fillies that attracted a field of 13.

Sugar Bay, an Ontario-bred homebred who races for George Strawbridge Jr. and is trained by Mac Benson, is coming off back-to-back wins at seven furlongs, with the first coming in a first-level allowance here July 18.

Benson considered working Sugar Bay, who will be making her turf debut, on the training track turf course for the first time before the Ontario Colleen, but decided to give his filly her final tune-up on the main track here Tuesday.

"She's by a good turf horse," said Benson. "She's been on the grass all her life, grazing and running. If a horse is going to like the turf, he's going to like it."

Chantal Sutherland, who has been aboard Sugar Bay for her recent wins, was committed to Northern Kraze, winner of the recent Wonder Where and one of the favorites for the Ontario Colleen.

Jono Jones, who was aboard for Sugar Swirl's recent 1:01.80 breeze, picks up the mount.

Verdana Bold is hot horse

Verdana Bold, a Kentucky-bred owned by Edward Seltzer, won the six-furlong Star Shoot and the 1 1/16-mile Selene in her first two appearances here for trainer Danny Vella and just missed adding a third stakes score in the Duchess.

"The race went perfect," said Vella. "The winner had a garden trip, but we didn't have a bad trip either."

Although she won her debut for trainer Rodney Jenkins at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Laurel last December, Verdana Bold disappointed when trying the local course for the first time in the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow two starts back.

"That race just didn't go right for her," said Vella. "We know she can handle the turf. And the one-turn mile should suit her perfectly."

Tyler Pizarro, still looking for his first stakes score, retains the mount on Verdana Bold in the Ontario Colleen.

Whitepark Bay belongs, Vella says

Whitepark Bay, who joined the Vella barn here late last month, also will run in the Colleen.

A Kentucky-bred, Whitepark Bay won her debut at Pimlico in April and followed with a close second in an optional $50,000 claiming/first-level allowance. Both races were at one mile on grass.

After finishing in a dead heat for fifth in a first-level allowance at 1o1/16 miles on turf at Delaware, Whitepark Bay cut back to 6 1/2 furlongs for her debut over the local course and finished four lengths behind the winner in 10th place.

"She really shipped in too close to that last race - she was supposed to be here earlier," said Vella. "I ended up putting her in there, but I shouldn't have.

"She's quite a nice filly. I believe she belongs with these."

Robert Landry picks up the mount on Whitepark Bay.

Cappal Mor making stakes debut

Vella also has a candidate for Sunday's one-mile turf feature - Cappal Mor, who is slated to make his stakes debut in the $125,000 Vice Regent for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Cappal Mor will be seeking his third straight victory. He dead-heated for the win at 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track here June 14, then scored in his turf debut in a first-level allowance at seven furlongs five weeks later. Both races were in Ontario-sired company.

"He's out of a Riverman mare, and we thought he'd move up on turf," said Vella. "He's a very solid horse.

"Really, in his last race, he was much the best. We freshened him with this race in mind."

Ice Bear in Woodbine Mile?

Benson is uncertain of his next move with Ice Bear, a 4-year-old gelding who is coming off a game win in the With Approval at 1o1/8 miles on turf.

"I'm trying to find something for him," said Benson. "There's one race in the book he's eligible for. But it's not on the grass, and I don't think it will go."

Benson has the option of running Ice Bear in the Woodbine Mile, as he anted up $1,000 to nominate the gelding to that Grade 1, $1 million race here a week from Sunday.

"I figured it would be better to spend $1,000, to be nominated, than to find out the race was coming up easier than expected and put up $20,000 to supplement him," said Benson.

Lady Shakespeare one to watch

Youth and old were paired here Wednesday morning as 2-year-old filly Lady Shakespeare and 9-year-old horse Pellegrino worked five furlongs in company over the turf training course.

Both were clocked for five furlongs in 1:00.20, but Lady Shakespeare continued on to gallop out six furlongs in 1:14.10 compared to Pellegrino's 1:15.

Lady Shakespeare, a full sister to last year's Woodbine Mile winner Shakespeare, won her debut at six furlongs on turf and is pointing for the Grade 3, $250,000 Natalma, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies here Sept. 14.

"She just worked unbelievably well," said Roger Attfield, who trains Lady Shakespeare for owner and breeder Charles Fipke. "I think she's probably going to be a very, very nice filly."

Lady Shakespeare was entered in Sunday's Ice Water, a one-mile overnight turf stakes that came just days after her debut, but she was scratched.

"I shouldn't even have put her in there," said Attfield. "It was too soon back for a filly like her. It would have been bad management."

Society's Chairman readies for Halton

Society's Chairman breezed five furlongs in a bullet 59.40 seconds on the training track turf course in preparation for Monday's Halton, a one-mile turf race that will be one of six $125,000 yearling sales stakes on the Labor Day program.

"He looked good," said Attfield, who trains Society's Chairman. Jones rode Society's Chairman for the drill.

A 5-year-old horse who finished a close second in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup at 1o1/16 miles on turf here this spring, Society's Chairman, looks to rebound from a dismal outing at a mile and 70 yards on the Polytrack on Aug. 9.

Emma Ain't Bluffin preps

Emma Ain't Bluffin, 4 for 4 in 2008, breezed five furlongs on the main track in 1:01.20 under regular rider Jim McAleney in preparation for Monday's Algoma, the 1 1/16-mile yearling sales stakes for fillies and mares.

"She was excellent," said trainer Steve Owens. "Everything's on schedule."

Emma Ain't Bluffin, a 5-year-old homebred who races for Empress Stable, began her streak at the $12,500 maiden claiming level and won most recently in an optional $62,500 claiming/second-level allowance race. All of her wins are at 1 1/16 miles.