05/25/2011 12:02PM

Woodbine: Bear It's Time may come back quick for Woodbine Oaks

Michael Burns
Bear It’s Time scores a 5 1/4-length victory in Monday’s Lady Angela Stakes at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Bear It’s Time made an auspicious return to action here Monday, romping to a 5 1/4-length victory in the seven-furlong Lady Angela Stakes.

And while it may be a stretch, in both the literal and figurative sense, trainer Reade Baker has broached the possibility of Bear It’s Time returning on less than two weeks’ rest for the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks.

“You’ve got to make a judgment,” said Baker, who trains Bear It’s Time for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion. “Is she fit enough, or are you going to hurt her? She’s not a real tall horse but she certainly has the pedigree. It all says two turns.

“We won’t make a decision until entry day.”

Bear It’s Time started just twice at 2, finishing third in her five-furlong opener Aug. 27 and returning on the final day of the meeting to graduate impressively at six furlongs.

“The first time, she bucked her shins,” Baker said. “I thought I was going to make it back in a maiden race and then a stakes at the end of the year, but I ran out of time.”

Bear It’s Time experienced problems with her shins again after that second start, which precluded her shipping to Palm Meadows to winter-train along with others in Baker’s string.

Instead, the filly got some time off on the nearby Curraghmore Farm of Michael Dube and Vera Simpson before rejoining Baker at the track in mid-February.

Even then, Bear It’s Time did not impress her trainer.

“I worked her a couple of times when she first came in, and she worked slow,” Baker said. “She never even picked it up until her last two works.”

Baker credits jockey Luis Contreras, who had guided Bear It’s Time to her victory last fall, with revitalizing Bear It’s Time in those most recent workouts.

Still, Baker had not nominated Bear It’s Time to the Lady Angela and had to ante up a supplementary entry fee of $2,500, which looked like money well spent after Contreras guided the filly to a payday of $75,000.

Bear It’s Time also would have to be supplemented to the Woodbine Oaks, at a cost of $12,500, but if all other systems are go, that sum would not be a major consideration.

Baker also reports that Bear’s Chill, an impressive winner of the seven-furlong Queenston Stakes here May 7, remains on target for an appearance in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial on June 5.

“He’s coming along nicely,” said Baker, who sent out Bear’s Chill to breeze five furlongs in 1:00.20 on the training track here last Sunday. “He’ll work five-eighths this weekend, then we’ll take him on over.”

Bear’s Chill, also owned by Dion, will be traveling around two turns on Polytrack for the first time in the $150,000 Plate Trial.

Baker had supplemented Bear’s Chill to the Queen’s Plate at a cost of $5,000 prior to the May 1 deadline. The Plate Trial conditions state that horses must have been eligible to the Queen’s Plate at the time of nomination.

The $1 million Queen’s Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, will be run June 26.

Inglorious works toward Oaks

Inglorious, a leading candidate for the Woodbine Oaks, breezed five furlongs in 59.80 seconds here Wednesday morning.

With Contreras in the irons, Inglorious was clocked in 36.3 for her first three furlongs and galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.40.

“That was her main work,” said Josie Carroll, who trains Inglorious for the Donver Stable of Donna and Vern Dubinsky. “Her next workout will be an easy half.”

Inglorious, who wintered with Carroll at Fair Grounds, was a smart winner of the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette in her local seasonal bow here May 15.

Miss Keller to miss California trip

Miss Keller breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 under jockey Patrick Husbands on Wednesday but did not scope well afterward, and her trip to Hollywood Park for Sunday’s Grade 1 Gamely has been called off.

“I can’t send her like this, full of mucus,” said Roger Attfield, who trains Miss Keller for Three Chimneys Racing LLC.

Oregon Lady, who was clocked in 1:01 while going in company with Miss Keller, is on target for the Nassau Stakes here June 4.

The Nassau, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares, offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $300,000.

Northern Dancer displays at track

Friday, May 27, marks the 50th anniversary of Northern Dancer’s birthdate, and Woodbine will be marking the occasion with special displays of memorabilia on the second floor of the grandstand and in the Hall of Fame area.

The displays will be here through Queen’s Plate Day.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s programs will feature a special color cover and an insert.

A birthday cake will be available for the public on Saturday at the north window of the second floor of the grandstand.

Bowden back as a public trainer

Tom Bowden, who enjoyed a long and successful association with the Colebrook Farm of John Brnjas, is back at the racetrack this year and has hung up his shingle as a public trainer.

Bowden, 57, had spent six years as Colebrook’s farm trainer after spending nine years as the outfit’s conditioner here at Woodbine.

His success stories during that span included multiple stakes winners Air Cool, Appealing Phylly, and Miss Inquistive.

Currently, the most productive runner in Bowden’s barn is Clarkstoncharm, a 6-year-old gelding who he took on for the Bradscot Farm of Irene and Neil McLellan last year.

“He was here last year under the care of my assistant, Emily Walker,” Bowden said. “She’s gone out on her own this year.”

Clarkstoncharm won out his Ontario-sired allowance conditions while banking more than $100,000 from 10 starts in 2010.

◗ Micky Ward, whose boxing career was chronicled in the recent Academy Award-nominated movie “The Fighter,” will be the honorary drawmaster for this year’s Woodbine Oaks. The draw will be take place at noon June 2 at the WEGZ Stadium Bar in nearby Vaughan.