07/19/2012 1:46PM

Woodbine: Bear It's Time steps up in Ontario Matron in return from injury

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Michael Burns
Bear It's Time will return to racing in Sunday's Ontario Matron at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Last October, it seemed more than likely that Bear It’s Time’s racing career was over.

“She pulled a ligament galloping on the main track,” said trainer Reade Baker, who had been preparing Bear It’s Time for the Ruling Angel, an overnight stakes that had been delayed by one week and ultimately was discarded. “The initial prognosis was not good. But so far, she’s escaped the bullet.”

On Sunday, Bear It’s Time will make her seasonal bow in the Ontario Matron, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares that offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000.

“She been training since Jan. 1 at Palm Meadows,” Baker said. “She’s been ready for a month, but there’s been no place to run her. I would have liked to have run her in an allowance race going two turns. She’s doing great, but she’s beaten Ontario-sired and Canadian-bred fillies, not this kind.”

Emma-Jayne Wilson has the mount on Bear It’s Time, who breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60 on the training track here Wednesday, six days after turning in a bullet drill of 58.60 seconds on the same surface.

Bear It’s Time, who races for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion, was the top Ontario-sired filly on the grounds last year as she won the seven-furlong Lady Angela, the 1 1/16-mile Bison City, and the 1 1/16-mile Classy ’n Smart while earning $326,650.

Kara’s Orientation eyes rebound

Kara’s Orientation enjoyed a glorious moment in the spotlight here last Aug. 11, leading throughout the Grade 2, $250,000 Sky Classic over 1 1/4 miles of turf.

And while Kara’s Orientation has failed to find the range in six subsequent outings, including the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and Canadian International, there are signs that he might rediscover his best stride heading into Sunday’s Nijinsky Stakes.

The Nijinsky, a 1 1/8-mile turf race, offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $300,000.

“The further, the better,” said Steven Chircop, who trains Kara’s Orientation for Max Berketa and Pinnacle Racing. “I think the horse is coming into a good race.”

Kara’s Orientation, a 5-year-old who was claimed for $20,000 in May 2010, began his current campaign in inauspicious fashion, finishing last of six in the 6 1/2-furlong prep for the Connaught Cup and eighth of 11 in the seven-furlong Connaught Cup itself.

“His first two races can be completely excused,” Chircop said. “The 6 1/2-furlong race was a disaster. It was too short and came off the turf. But he was so sharp, he needed a race. In his second race, we tried a different strategy, and he got checked out of it.”

In his next and most recent outing, Kara’s Orientation returned to his front-running ways and was pressured through a quick pace before finishing third while competing under his third allowance condition over one mile of turf.

Kara’s Orientation had finished gamely after being headed in that June 16 race and had come back on to take third money from Stunning Stag, who had hit the lead in midstretch,

Stunning Stag returned to capture the Ontario Jockey Club, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-breds on July 2.

Hotep, who left Kara’s Orientation 1 1/4 lengths behind him as the winner of the June 16 race that day, also is back for the Nijinsky.

Point of Emminence targets stakes

Baker has been pointing an up-until-now “secret weapon” to this year’s Wonder Where in Point of Emminence, who is coming off a second-place finish in a $40,000 claiming race for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles of turf here June 23.

The $250,000 Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, will be renewed July 29.

“I think she ran super the other day,” said Baker, who trains Point of Emminence for Richard Fortier’s Jus Luk Stable. “She was making her second start off a long layoff, got beat by an older horse, and was lugging in down the lane. We’ve corrected that, and she should run big. She obviously loves the turf and loves the distance.”

Point of Emminence raced three times as a 2-year-old, with all three starts coming at 1 1/16 miles.

After coming from off the pace to score first crack out at the $32,000 claiming level, Point of Emminence set the pace but faltered to finished seventh in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

Point of Emminence then was entered at the $25,000 claiming level and returned to her late-running ways for a convincing victory Nov. 26.

In her only outing this year prior to her turf debut, Point of Emminence finished third when competing under the first-level allowance clause in an optional claiming race at Fort Erie on May 28.

Essence Hit Man wins dogfight

Wednesday night’s $150,000 Bold Venture was billed as a showdown between the top locally based sprinters Essence Hit Man and Eternal Rule, with the shippers Lonesome Street and Bergerac providing a solid supporting cast.

And the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture did not disappoint as Esssence Hit Man, under regular rider Jesse Campbell, turned back a determined bid by Eternal Rule to prevail by a head.

“It was a real dogfight,” said trainer Audre Cappuccitti, who trains Essence Hit Man and also is the co-owner and breeder of the 5-year-old gelding in partnership with her husband, Gordon.

Essence Hit Man, breaking from post 1 under top weight of 124 pounds, was pressured early by Executive Five, the speedy but overmatched outsider who wound up last in the field of five.

“They never left him alone, but when somebody goes with him, they’re nowhere in the end,” Cappuccitti said. “He really ran his heart out. There were two times when I thought he was going to get beat in the stretch, but he dug in again and again.”

Essence Hit Man came into the Bold Venture off a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Highlander, a six-furlong stakes that was by far his best effort in limited turf appearances.

The next open turf sprint stakes for the division is the Aug. 26 Play the King, a seven-furlong race that offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $200,000.

And while Essence Hit Man did finish a good second in Saratoga’s Grade 2, seven-furlong Amsterdam two summers back, that remains his only road trip.

“I’d rather stay at home,” said Cappuccitti, who nevertheless will be taking a look at her out-of-town options.