09/12/2013 2:44PM

Woodbine: Asserting Bear tries to emulate sire in Summer Stakes

Michael Burns
Asserting Bear puts his head in front of Tropic of Artie to win a maiden sprint last month. They both return in the Summer Stakes on Saturday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Bear Stable, trainer Reade Baker, and jockey Jim McAleney combined to take the 2005 Summer Stakes with Bear’s Kid, and they will team up again in the Grade 2 race Saturday at Woodbine with a promising son of Bear’s Kid, Asserting Bear.

The $200,000 Summer, a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re in qualifier for the Juvenile Turf, drew 10 2-year-olds who will negotiate a mile on the grass. Two of the Summer entrants, supplements My Conquestadory and Spanish Flower, were cross-entered in Saturday’s Grade 2 Natalma for 2-year-old fillies.

Asserting Bear was only an early factor when he debuted in a maiden special weight on grass Aug. 4. Three weeks later, he registered a 34-1 upset in another maiden special weight sprint on the grass, giving Bear’s Kid his first winner.

Asserting Bear is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Inish Glora, Canada’s champion turf female in 2003-04.

“He’s a bigger, taller version of Bear’s Kid,” Baker said. “He’s a brother to a wonderful racemare and has inherited his turf ability. He had a rough trip the first time he ran. I thought his last race was a dandy, because he’s not a real good work horse and got nothing out of his first race. To put up that kind of gutsy performance, we were really pleased.”

Trainer Mark Casse entered two sons of the popular Malibu Moon: Matador and Phenomenalmoon. Neither has competed on the grass.

Matador broke slowly from post 1 before ending up fourth behind the leading local 2-year-old Go Greeley in his only start, which came in the six-furlong Vandal Stakes on Aug 11.

“I thought he ran well against some nice horses,” Casse said. “He made a move and flattened out a little late. We scoped him after, and he was full of mucus. We don’t know where that came from, because we had scoped him six days prior. He got sick after the race. He had a temperature, but never really missed any time because they get a couple days off after a race anyway. We got it cleared up, and he’s been training really well. He’s a beautiful-moving horse, and I would think that he’d skip across the grass.”

Phenomenalmoon graduated third time out in his second Woodbine outing in a relatively slow maiden special over seven furlongs. Casse sent him out for a five-furlong turf breeze in 1:00.60 around the cones Sept. 6.

“I thought he worked nicely on the turf,” Casse said. “We were a little higher on him than what he’s shown us so far. He eliminated himself at the start in his first two races. I thought his last race was good, not great. He’s going to have to step up his game. I think he’s capable of it. He’s shown us in the morning that he’s a pretty good horse.”

Tropic of Artie improved while switching to the turf in his second start, winding up a head behind Asserting Bear after leading in deep stretch in a seven-furlong event.

School On a Hill, a handy debut winner over the Arlington turf Aug. 22, was supplemented for $4,000.