08/08/2012 12:59PM

Woodbine: Courtville in good spot for Friday allowance sprint

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Stakes-placed Courtville fits nicely in Friday’s Woodbine headliner, a nonwinners-of-three allowance worth $56,000. He should be favored in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint, which has lured seven other Ontario-sired runners, including Marked in Stone and Bear’s Peak.

Courtville showed promise last year at 2, when he graduated second time out after losing his debut by disqualification. He went on to finish fourth in both the Bull Page and Frost King, two Ontario-sired stakes, before getting the winter off.

Courtville broke out of a slump when he went long for the first time in his second start this year May 18. He came from off a tepid pace to capture that Ontario-sired allowance by 5 1/2 lengths, with a 71 Beyer Speed Figure.

Courtville subsequently finished a distant third in the open Victoria Park Stakes. The top two finishers in the nine-furlong fixture, Prospective and Patrioticandproud, both returned to win stakes.

Courtville cut back to seven furlongs most recently in the restricted Deputy Minister Stakes. Favored Jenna’s Wabbit set slow fractions en route to a daylight score in the Deputy Minister, and Courtville did well to close for second, earning a 79 Beyer.

Owner/trainer Laurie Silvera is using jockey Omar Moreno again on Courtville, who might find the distance of Friday’s feature a little short for him.

Marked in Stone came five wide from midpack to win a six-furlong Ontario-sired allowance with a 70 Beyer on July 13. He has made the board in each of his six starts for trainer Gail Cox, who will give leading rider Patrick Husbands a leg up.

Bear’s Peak defeated three of his current rivals, Mr. Monty, Haverhill, and Urban Forester, after closing from a stalking position for second in a quality July 15 allowance. Victorious Royal Egbert returned to take the Shepperton Stakes, and unplaced Rob the Cradle subsequently won an allowance on the grass.

Justin Stein inherits the mount on the Reade Baker-trained Bear’s Peak from Emma Wilson, who has gone to England this week for a jockey challenge.

Mr. Monty attended a fast pace before weakening to third on a speed-favoring track July 15, which was his best performance of the meet.

Haverhill got away slowly before making up some ground against the bias to end up fourth July 15. He rarely runs a bad one for trainer Bev Chubb. Urban Forester, who was hard-ridden when sixth July 15, has struggled throughout the meet and is trying blinkers. He has lost all his speed, a style that he used to score twice in spring 2011.