07/29/2011 12:43PM

Woodbine: Bear It's Time tries turf in Wonder Where


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Reade Baker swept the final two legs of the 2010 Canadian triple tiara with Free Fee Lady. He will try to duplicate that feat Sunday at Woodbine with Bear It’s Time in the $250,000 Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf stakes for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Woodbine Oaks winner Inglorious bypassed the rest of the tiara series, and Bear It’s Time was a wide-closing winner of the second leg, the Bison City Stakes, after finishing sixth in the Oaks.

Bear It’s Time is trying the turf for the first time. Her second-year sire, Philanthropist, has yet to sire a turf winner, but her half-brother, It’s Time Bear, won a minor grass stakes. Baker said he believes that 1 1/4 miles on grass could be right up her alley.

“As far as she’s gone so far, she’s always closed at the end,” said Baker. “She’s never been on the turf, but she grew up on it. Her brother was probably at his best on the turf. I think everything’s positive. She looks good, and she’s going good.”

Bear It’s Time will be ridden by Luis Contreras, who won the first two legs of this year’s triple tiara and the Canadian Triple Crown. Niigon’s Touch and Spooky Kitten, the second- and third-place finishers in the 1 1/16-mile Bison City, are also experimenting on a new surface.

Niigon’s Touch romped in her first two starts in the spring, both in Ontario-sired company, and then lost the Bison City by a head in a gritty performance.

“Her first two races weren’t really a challenge for her,” said trainer Paul Attard. “Last time, she fought [Spooky Kitten] the whole way, and just got beat in the last jump by [Bear It’s Time). That was a big jump up, going from a nonwinners of two allowance to a stakes.”

Attard is confident that Niigon’s Touch is ready for the task at hand.

“The distance shouldn’t be a problem for her,” said Attard. “I really think she’ll handle the turf. She’s got such a nice stride, that I think she’ll run over anything. We were going to breeze her on the turf last weekend, but turf training was canceled. She worked very well on the Poly.”

Spooky Kitten probably possesses the best turf pedigree in the 10-horse field. A daughter turf champion Kitten’s Joy, Spooky Kitten is out of La Coruna, who won a nine-furlong maiden claimer on the grass at Belmont. There are several turf stakes winners in her immediate family.

“Her breeding says that she should go a mile and a quarter,” said trainer Mark Casse. “She’s a little tiny thing, but when she trains, she just doesn’t stop. After she got beat [in the Bison City], she kicked on again while galloping out.”

In the Oaks, Spooky Kitten set a slow pace before ending up second to Inglorious, who came back to beat the boys in the Queen’s Plate. She finished a half-length back in the Bison City, after racing on the front end.

Casse has captured the Wonder Where twice, with Sealy Hill in 2007 and Tasty Temptation in 2009.