11/28/2011 3:08PM

Woodbine: J J for Dave in good spot for first stakes win in Sir Barton

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – At this late stage of the Woodbine meet, the older Ontario-sired ranks have become depleted, which has given J J for Dave the opportunity to land his first stakes in Wednesday’s $125,000 Sir Barton.

J J for Dave nearly captured the June 19 Steady Growth, a stakes for Ontario-sired stock that was run at the Sir Barton distance of 1 1/16 miles. He set a moderate pace then before losing by just a neck to the heavily favored Sand Cove, a Canadian champion.

“That was a huge race,” trainer Ian Black said. “I’m not sure if Sand Cove was as good as he used to be, but it was still a very good race.”

J J for Dave won a first-level allowance route over a modest field in early September. He found seven furlongs too short for him in the Sept. 28 Overskate Stakes, but managed to salvage fifth behind the likes of Gypsy Ring and Paso Doble.

Black said J J for Dave ran spotty during his third-place finish in a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer Oct. 23.

“For some reason, he lost some ground around the turn and then ran on again,” Black recalled. “All in all, it was a good effort. He usually shows up.”

Last Wednesday, J J for Dave breezed five-eighths in 1:00, which was the fastest of 12 works at the distance.

“He’s a very good work horse, and he worked very well,” Black said. “He probably didn’t need to go that quick, but he did it easily and willingly.”

Justin Stein has the mount on J J for Dave, who is owned by J and J Stable.

The Boy’s Ring is competing around two turns for the first time, with a blend of speed and stamina in his pedigree. His lone win in 10 outings this year came in a $62,500 optional claimer on Oct. 29. Most recently, he earned his second straight Beyer Speed Figure in the low 80s when second in another 6 1/2-furlong optional claimer.

Lady’s First Cat finished fourth in the 2010 Sir Barton. He is winless in 10 starts at the meet, but his last few performances in optional-claiming company were decent and he wasn’t badly beaten when third in the Steady Growth.

Opening Meet is coming off back-to-back victories in nonwinners-of-three Ontario-sired allowance company.

Flip for the Coin and Strangerthanfiction were both supplemented at a cost of $2,500.