09/21/2009 11:00PM

We Are Golden back to turf in allowance


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The obvious contenders in Thursday's Woodbine feature are Spirit Lodge and Fifty Proof, but the first-time gelding We Are Golden also is worth a look in the first-level Ontario-sired allowance that is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

We Are Golden woke up in his final 2-year-old outing in November, when he was a close second to the future stakes winner Costalivin. His season opener on the turf in June resulted in a seventh-place finish in a tough maiden special that was taken by Gypsy Ring. The runner-up, Guipago, eventually won the Vice Regent Stakes.

We Are Golden set a slow pace before holding on gamely for a head victory when he graduated in a two-turn maiden special on the Polytrack July 24. Most recently in an Ontario-sired allowance, he broke slowly and had a four-wide trip en route to running seventh.

Gerry Olguin will ride We Are Golden for trainer Malcolm Pierce, who has 13 wins from 70 turf starts at the meeting.

Spirit Lodge didn't beat much in his second-out maiden win over 1 1/16 miles on the grass in August, but he looked good doing it. He earned his second straight 76 Beyer Speed Figure when he was hard-ridden for third in a nonwinners-of-three allowance Sept. 4.

On Thursday, Spirit Lodge faces nonwinners-of-two company under jockey Constant Montpellier, who will get a leg up from trainer Liz Charalambous.

Fifty Proof showed little when he debuted in a Polytrack sprint in August. He promptly turned his life around on the turf Sept. 2, when he captured a nine-furlong maiden special with a 76 Beyer in his first try with Lasix.

Fifty Proof breezed a half-mile on the Polytrack last Thursday in 47.20 seconds, which was the fastest of 25 works at the distance. His rider, Justin Stein, is 5 for 12 at the meet aboard Ian Black-trained runners.

Bayland is making his turf debut for trainer Steve Asmussen, who claimed him for $15,000 on behalf of owner Maggi Moss last March at Gulfstream. Bayland found the mark in his third try against Ontario-sired maidens July 23 and was second in his first start against restricted allowance stock Aug. 12. He is by a poor turf sire, but his dam was stakes placed on the grass.

Northoffifty prevailed in a key maiden special over seven furlongs in his initial turf start last month.