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Toronto Cup good spot for Stormy Lord
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Stormy Lord, a front-running type who is coming off a second-place finish in the July 11 Charlie Barley over one mile of turf, will have an extra furlong to negotiate over the same course here in Saturday’s Toronto Cup.
But with Charlie Barley winner So Elite headed to Saratoga and no new rivals with imposing turf credentials, Stormy Lord remains the one to beat in the $150,000 Toronto Cup.
“He’s in good order,” said Ian Black, who had sent out Stormy Lord to capture the Charlie Barley prep over seven furlongs three weeks prior to the stakes itself. “He worked very well the other day, but he usually does at the turf training track.”
Stormy Lord also finished second in both the Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles of turf and in the Coronation Futurity over 1 1/8 miles of Polytrack in his last two starts as a 2-year-old
Jim McAleney, who has ridden Stormy Lord in his last five races, retains the mount.
Two of the seven 3-year-olds in the open Toronto Cup are exiting the Queen’s Plate. Black will send out D’s Wando and Mark Frostad has entered Dark Cloud Dancer. Both would be making their turf debuts.
D’s Wando finished last of 13 in the Queen’s Plate and Dark Cloud Dancer, who had been entered to ensure an honest pace for his stablemates Hotep and Giant’s Tomb, wound up sixth after a stalking trip.
Dark Cloud Dancer has been cross-entered in Sunday’s Prince of Wales Stakes, a 1 3/16-mile dirt race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds. The Prince of Wales attracted a field of eight, including the Frostad-trained Queen’s Plate runner-up Hotep.
“I think we’re probably leaning toward the Toronto Cup with Dark Cloud Dancer,” said Frostad. “I think there’s enough pace in the Prince of Wales with the addition of Golden Moka and Mobil Unit.”
Despite Dark Cloud Dancer’s lack of turf experience, Frostad believes the Toronto Cup suits him on other counts.
“The distance, around one turn, should be to his liking,” said Frostad, who also will out Born to Act for the Toronto Cup. “His style is to be close. I don’t want him out in front on quick fractions.”
Simply Splendid ready for Matron
Simply Splendid was 2 for 2 on the turf this spring, having captured the allowance prep for the Nassau and the Grade 1 stakes itself in her first two starts. But while looking to extend her streak here in last Sunday’s Grade 2 Dance Smartly, Simply Splendid came up with a foot abscess which put an end to her participation.
“She missed a few days,” said Gail Cox, who trains Simply Splendid and owns the mare in partnership with Jim Menary. “I don’t think it’s a big deal at this point, but I didn’t want her to go into a big race like that.”
Simply Splendid obviously didn’t lose much in terms of sharpness as she was out last Sunday morning breezing five furlongs in 59.40 under her regular rider Chantal Sutherland.
Simply Splendid also has stakes-caliber Polytrack credentials and has been supplemented to Sunday’s $150,000 Ontario Matron, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares. The six-horse field for the Ontario Matron includes the invaders Euphony, Floating Heart, and Hooh Why.
Utterly Cool jumps into Nijinksy
Utterly Cool, who capped a successful comeback with his win in the Ontario Jockey Club over seven furlongs of turf here July 11, is swinging back in Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Nijinsky over the turf here.
The $100,400 Ontario Jockey Club was an overnight stakes restricted to Ontario-foals, while the Nijinsky is a Grade 2 race which offers a purse of $300,000.
“He was kind of a last-minute entry,” said Sid Attard, who conditions the homebred 4-year-old Utterly Cool for the Jim Dandy Stable of Mel Lawson. “It looked like a short field, so we jumped in.”
The Nijinsky actually wound up with eight entrants, due to a pair of supplements and an allowance that did not fill, but Utterly Cool figures to be on the lead and is unlikely to experience traffic problems.
Utterly Cool captured the Ontario Jockey Club by a measured two lengths under Patrick Husbands.
“Coming back in two weeks is a little bit of a concern,” said Attard. “But, it looks like he’s okay. It would have been different if Patrick had to beat him up to win.”
Attard also believes that Utterly Cool will handle the 1 1/8-mile distance, as the gelding was a commanding 10 1/4-length winner of the Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles of yielding turf as a 2-year-old.
“I like him better without blinkers, too,” said Attard, who sent out Utterly Cool to race without the equipment for the first time in the Ontario Jockey Club.
With Husbands committed to ride Grand Adventure in the Nijinsky, Utterly Cool will be reunited with Richard Dos Ramos, who was aboard for victories in his first two career starts.
Turf no problem for Jacally
Jacally, owned by Dick Bonnycastle, gave trainer Roger Attfield his fifth stakes winner of the meeting in Wednesday evening’s $127,400 Passing Mood.
The seven-furlong Passing Mood, for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, was the first start on turf for Jacally, who was coming off back-to-back second place finishes in restricted first-level allowance sprints.
“I didn’t see any reason why she wouldn’t handle it,” said Attfield, who had sent out Jacally to breeze four furlongs in 49.20 on the turf training track here last Sunday. “The turf part didn’t come into the equation at all. The race was just there, it was the right spot, and it happened to be on turf.”
The Passing Mood also turned out to be the right spot for Eurico Rosa da Silva, whose four-win evening included an unscheduled appearance aboard Jacally.
Jono Jones, who had been Jacally’s rider in each of her four starts, had informed Attfield several hours before the race that he was having trouble getting close to the assigned weight of 115 pounds.
“He told me that maybe I should look for another rider,” said Attfield. “That was nice of him.”
Da Silva had the call on Jesters Jazz for the Passing Mood, but when that filly was scratched he became available to ride Jacally, who went postward under 116 pounds.