06/20/2013 12:43PM

Woodbine: Griffith seeking Victoria repeat


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Ricky Griffith, known for sending out precocious juveniles, entered No Fruit Degroote and Ba Ba Brett in the first 2-year-old stakes of the Woodbine meet on Saturday, the $150,000 Victoria.

Griffith captured last year’s five-furlong Victoria with Ray’s Away, who was subsequently sold for a pretty penny. Ray’s Away was owned then by Debmar Stable, which owns both Griffith runners in Saturday’s renewal.

No Fruit Degroote debuted in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special on the dirt at Delaware June 1. Sent off at 4-1, he dueled for the lead through a quick opening quarter before drawing clear to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths in 53.33 seconds, a time that got him a 53 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He won pretty decently,” Griffith said. “He was pressed, and when they straightened up, he kicked on. He’s trained well since coming back here. He moves well over [Polytrack]. I don’t know if he’s that solid of a horse, but once you break your maiden, you’re limited to where you go next.”

No Fruit Degroote was a $25,000 yearling purchase and is by the versatile millionaire In Summation, who took the Grade 1 Bing Crosby over Del Mar’s Polytrack.

First-time starter Ba Ba Brett, an inexpensive son of speed sire Bwama Charlie, breezed a half-mile in a bullet 48.20 seconds on June 12.

“He’s worked decent,” said Griffith. “He’s a big, rangy kind of colt. He probably doesn’t want to go that short, but he’s all dressed up and I’ve got nowhere else to go. I entered him a couple of times against maidens and the races did not go. My hands are tied. There’s a colts’ race coming up. It depends on the size of the field and who’s in [the Victoria].”

Conquest Whiplash, the lone filly in the six-horse field, is debuting for trainer Mark Casse, who has won the Victoria twice. She has recorded several fast drills, including a half-mile from the gate in 48.80 seconds on June 7.

Irish Media and Enthrone were both supplemented at a cost of $3,000.

Irish Media broke a half-step slowly before showing speed and ending up third behind the well-regarded Go Greeley in his lone outing May 19. Mike McDonald trains Irish Media, a son of Mass Media.

Unraced Enthrone, a son of Northern Afleet, has posted above-average works for trainer Ian Black.

Bold ‘n Golden graduated at first asking in Ontario-sired maiden company May 26, when he rallied along the rail to prevail by a head before galloping out strongly. Trained by John Cardella, he earned just a 38 Beyer Figure that day.