10/06/2011 1:32PM

Woodbine: Blue Heart to take big step in Mazarene


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Blue Heart has seen action just once, scoring by a half-length in a six-furlong maiden race here at Woodbine on Aug. 20.

On Saturday, trainer Brian Lynch will be hoping that Blue Heart has what it takes to handle the step up and stretchout for the Mazarine, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies that offers a purse of $200,000.

“She’s a beautiful, big, strong type of filly,” said Lynch, who trains Blue Heart for California-based owners John and Jerry Amerman.

“She’s a joy to train. She’s done everything right.”

A $375,000 yearling purchase, Blue Heart was sent off at 4-5 for her first start and stalked the pace under Patrick Husbands before getting up in time.

“She cut it pretty fine, but Patrick said he just let her enjoy herself,” said Lynch. “She did it so nice.

“I’m hoping for big things from her. She trains like she won’t have any trouble getting two turns, and she’s Canadian-bred. I’m hoping she’ll be an Oaks filly here next year.”

With Husbands committed to ride for trainer Mark Casse in the Mazarine, Lynch recruited Junior Alvarado for Blue Heart.

Alvarado also had been named on Bay to Bay, whom Lynch had entered in Saturday’s $350,000 First Lady at Keeneland.

But then some jockey-juggling ensued as Tapitsfly, a First Lady also-eligible who had Albarado named, was scratched.

Lynch then grabbed Albarado for Bay to Bay.

“I felt he fit her better – he won with her before,” said Lynch.

Then, with Alvarado encountering visa problems, Lynch reached out to Joe Bravo to ride Blue Heart in the Mazarine.

“He’s taking off his mounts in New York,” said Lynch.

Bravo will be breaking Blue Heart from the outside post in the field of 12 for the Mazarine.

“It’s not ideal, but I think she has enough tactical speed to get a position going into the first turn,” said Lynch.

Bay to Bay will be looking to become a Grade 1 stakes winner in the First Lady, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

A Florida-bred 4-year-old owned by Rob Smithen, Bay to Bay is coming off an eighth-place finish here in the Grade 2 Canadian over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The Canadian is the major local prep for Oct. 16 E.P. Taylor Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile turf race that offers Grade 1 status and a purse of $1 million.

“We were going to give her one more start this year, either in the E.P. Taylor or at Keeneland, and we thought the distance there might be better for her,” said Lynch.

Erin Cotteril, Lynch’s assistant trainer and partner, will saddle Bay to Bay for the First Lady.

“After this we’re going to give her a little break and then prepare her for the Sunshine Millions,” said Lynch.

The Sunshine Millions, a day of races for Florida- and California-breds, will be held at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita on Jan. 28. Bay to Bay’s event of choice would be the Sunshine Millions Distaff at 1 1/8 miles on the turf at Santa Anita..

Lynch also had nominated Colleen’s Sailor for Sunday’s Grey Stakes, an open 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds, but has elected to save the colt for next Saturday’s Cup and Saucer.

The $250,000 Cup and Saucer is a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Canadian-breds.

“I’ll try him on the grass,” said Lynch, who trains Colleen’s Sailor for Terra di Siena Stables. “The way he acts, I wouldn’t have any hesitation saying he could get a mile and a sixteenth.”

Colleen’s Sailor has seen action twice, finishing a closing third at five furlongs on Aug. 14 and then scoring by two lengths at six furlongs on Sept. 11.

Baker enjoys the show

Reade Baker, who was in Lexington, Ky., to saddle Tu Endie Wei for Friday’s Grade 1 Alcibiades, watched Wednesday night’s Classy ‘n Smart from his hotel room there.

And Baker enjoyed the view as Bear It’s Time, a 3-year-old he trains for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion, came from just off the pace under rider Emma-Jayne Wilson to score by 2 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

“I thought she ran super,” said Baker. “She got a good ride. Everything went well.”

Bear It’s Time was notching her third stakes win of the season in the Classy ‘n Smart while boosting her career bankroll to $367,120.

Baker hopes that Bear It’s Time will get a chance to add to that total in the $150,000 Jammed Lovely, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies here Nov. 16.

Baker will be back in town for the weekend to saddle Solid Appeal for the Mazarine and Blue Taurus for the Grade 3, $250,000 Grey.

Solid Appeal, a Kentucky-bred who races for Jim and Susan Hill, will be looking for her first win as she stretches out for the Mazarine off two six-furlong starts.

After getting off to a slow beginning and finishing fifth, beaten 11 1/4 lengths by Blue Heart, in her opener, Solid Appeal raced well to be beaten 2 1/2 lengths as the runner-up to the odds-on Bagatelle Park on Sept. 18.

“She was closing well the other day, and she’s doing extremely well,” said Baker. “This race is big money, so I thought I’d take a chance.”

Solid Appeal drew post 3 in the Mazarine and Wilson retains the mount.

Bear’s Taurus, a Kentucky-bred owned by Dion, won at a mile and 70 yards on Polytrack in his third and most recent outing but is unlikely to attract much support in the 1 1/16-mile Grey.

Racing in a field reduced to three by two late scratches, Bear’s Taurus scored by three-quarters of a length but was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 42.

“The knock against him is that terribly low Beyer,” said Baker.

“Obviously, it was a very fluky race. He was propping, and doing all kinds of things on the lead.

“But, his last two works have been far better than any he had prior to that last race. I expect him to run well.”

Frostad pair ship out

Stars to Shine and Trend, both based here with trainer Mark Frostad, shipped out for Keeneland on Wednesday morning.

Frostad will be there Saturday to saddle Stars to Shine for the Grade 1, $600,000 Spinster, a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares.

Trend, a homebred 4-year-old who races for Stone Farm, is eyeing a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance scheduled for Wednesday.

“There’s nothing for him here,” said Frosat, who sent Trend for a belated maiden victory in his 10th career start here Sept. 11.

Trend had finished second five times before that victory over 1 1/16 miles on turf.