08/17/2011 11:11AM

Woodbine: Cross Every Bridge drops into claimer


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The eighth and final race on Friday’s Woodbine card, a $40,000 conditioned claimer on the grass, includes two talented droppers whom handicappers must size up before making their wagers.

Cross Every Bridge, a 6-year-old Sam-Son Farm homebred, looked like he could be any kind when he romped going a mile on the grass in his debut in fall 2008. He didn’t compete again until July 31, 2009, when he wired a tough field of optional claimers, receiving a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. A month later, he set a fast pace in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes before fading badly in the stretch to finish seventh.

Cross Every Bridge had been idle for nearly two years when he returned to action a month ago in a six-furlong optional claimer, in which he flashed his usual early foot before coming up empty in the drive.

Cross Every Bridge has worked quickly since his comeback and is picking up hot turf rider Jesse Campbell, who is 0 for 6 at the meet for trainer Mark Frostad.

Dalkeith Ridge, a 5-year-old owned by Melnyk Racing Stable, won his first outings in Polytrack sprints in the spring. He never fired while going long on the grass June 12 and also was a chalky seventh most recently in another optional claimer, traveling seven-eighths on Polytrack.

Patrick Husbands retains the mount on the Mark Casse-trained Dalkeith Ridge, who breezed five-eighths in 1:02.20 last Friday.

Those who view the two droppers with some trepidation should consider Harvest Home and Woodland Flute.

Harvest Home, a shipper trained by Louie Roussel, has been competing over middle distances for a while, with some success. He defeated two next-out winners when third in a first-level allowance over the Arlington turf July 21.

Harvest Home graduated here on the grass last August, when he was trained by Frostad. Luis Contreras will ride him Friday.

Woodland Flute came off a layoff in an easier $40,000 claimer on the lawn July 8. He dueled three wide for the lead in that six-furlong sprint before ending up second behind the closing favorite Ruhtro.

Milwaukee Mixer could link up with Cross Every Bridge on the front end. He won two of his first three starts, including a turf sprint for nonwinners of two, $40,000 stock. He was softened up in a speed duel most recently on the Polytrack.