08/07/2013 12:36PM

Woodbine: Dance for Cole stepping up Friday off sharp maiden score

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Dance for Cole, a hot horse from a live family, should be prominent Friday at Woodbine in the featured eighth race, an Ontario-sired allowance scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

Dance for Cole wintered in south Florida with trainer Katerina Vassilieva, who sent him out to finish fourth in a maiden special weight race on grass at Gulfstream on March 22. He didn’t start again until June 9, when he faltered here in another open maiden special weight route on the lawn.

Predictably, Dance for Cole got back on track in his first try against Ontario-sired maiden special weight opposition June 30, when he rallied inside for third going seven-eighths. He showed good speed while graduating in a romp July 17, covering 1 1/16 miles on very firm ground in 1:41.38 to win by 5 1/4 lengths and earn a 76 Beyer Speed Figure.

Leading rider Luis Contreras stays aboard Dance for Cole. The horse is a half-brother to Best Gift of All and Spirit Warnings, who both finished second in Ontario-sired stakes races here last week. All three are owned by Spirit Winds Stable.

Unwinding At Work is shortening up after a fine effort in a 1 3/8-mile allowance July 20 in which he stalked a quick pace before flattening out late to end up fourth. The Mark Casse-trained 4-year-old should find the 1 1/16-mile distance of Friday’s race more appealing.

Love to Battle saved ground en route to a fifth-place finish behind Unwinding At Work when competing on grass for the first time July 20. He previously was a close third in an allowance route on Polytrack, and trainer Greg Cox probably wouldn’t mind seeing Friday’s engagement moved to that surface.

The also-eligible Port Severn defeated Dance for Cole after closing stoutly down the center of the course to earn his diploma June 30.

Port Severn is coupled in the Chiefswood Stable entry with Future Strike, who wound up seventh behind three next-out winners in his lone outing this year June 14. Both are by Queen’s Plate winner Niigon, and Future Strike is out of a winner on turf, a surface on which he has yet to race.

The Bear Stables entry of Speyside and Silent Yet Deadly should attract support.

Speyside hasn’t tried turf since July 2012, when he was second here in a 1 1/4-mile allowance.

Silent Yet Deadly, who is shedding his blinkers, has raced exclusively on Polytrack. His sire, Silent Name, was a Grade 2 stakes winner on grass, a surface on which his dam defeated maidens.