08/08/2013 1:25PM

Woodbine: Juveniles rule weekend stakes action

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Michael Burns
Go Greeley wins the open Colin Stakes at six furlongs on July 20.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The juvenile divisions will be in the spotlight here this weekend with the $125,000 Ontario Debutante set for Saturday and the $150,000 Vandal for Sunday.

Both races go at six furlongs, with the Ontario Debutante an open stakes for fillies and the Vandal restricted to Ontario-breds.

The Vandal is by far the more interesting of the two races. Heading the cast of 10 is Go Greeley, a 2 1/2-length winner of the open Colin Stakes at six furlongs here July 20. He is owned and trained by John Ross.

Maritime Pulpit will be meeting Go Greeley for the second time after finishing third in the July 7 Clarendon, which was won by Spin the King with Go Greeley the runner-up. Trained by Mike DePaulo and owned and bred by Ben Hutzel, Maritime Pulpit was making his debut that day. He dueled for the lead until midstretch, a style of running that surprised DePaulo.

“The first time he worked here he showed a bit of speed,” DePaulo said. “He was wanting to really roll. But then he really seemed to kind of settle.

“He broke okay in the race, and ended up on the lead. I hope he’ll sit off – there’s a little bit of gas in there.’’

DePaulo also noted that Maritime Pulpit galloped out in front following the Clarendon, and came back with three solid workouts, including a bullet five-furlong breeze in 1:00.60 here last Sunday.

Platinum Glory, owned by John Scola, also is scheduled to represent the DePaulo barn while he makes his debut in the Vandal.

“I bought him at Keeneland last September,” said DePaulo, who had paid $65,000 for the colt and then sent him to Gail Wood’s Woodlands Farm for the winter. “He’s training well, but this is a tough spot for a first-timer.

“He’s had three five-furlong breezes, but the other horses have a little more bottom in them right now.”

Rounding out the Vandal lineup are Arlington Park shipper Heart to Heart; Grom, who finished fourth in the Clarendon; debut winners Iron Wolf and Figy’s Mobil Pride; Enjoy the Movie, second to Iron Wolf in his opener and a next-out graduate; and Man O’ Bear and Matador, both of whom will be making their first start.

The Ontario Debutante has attracted a six-horse field headed by the Mark Casse-trained pair of Conquest Whiplash and Madly Truly.

Conquest Whiplash defeated males when debuting in the five-furlong Victoria here June 5 and Madly Truly was a second-out winner here after finishing fourth in her debut at Churchill Downs.

Skylander Girl is the other stakes winner in the field, having won the five-furlong My Dear in her second start but then finishing fourth in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well.

Rounding out the field are Presque Isle shipper Sweetsoutherndame and the locallybased Questera and Spanish Flower, who who makes her first start.

Questera, trained by Sid Attard, will be racing for the second time after being claimed from a winning opener at the $40,000 level on July 13.

“There were no other races for her. That’s why we’re going to run her here,” said Attard, who trains Questera for his wife, Janice, and sister-in law, Veronica Attard. “It’s not that we’re too high on her, but she’s training well. She’s been sharp.”

Attard said he was attracted to Questera by the filly’s pedigree and contacted his son and former assistant Jamie Attard, who now has his own outfit here.

“When I like a horse I always call Jamie and have him look at the breeding,” said Attard. “He said every horse the dam threw was a runner.”

Alovelybunch euthanized

Alovelybunch, who had won at first asking and then finished second in the My Dear, had a fatal breakdown while breezing on the Polytrack for the Ontario Debutante last Saturday.

“She broke down right at the wire,” said trainer Mike Doyle. He said the filly was sent to the Milton Veterinary Center, “and it was decided she would be unsaveable.”

Alovelybunch, owned by Thor Eaton, was a $17,000 purchase at last October’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky sale. She earned $63,540 in her two starts.

Pender Harbour tunes up

Pender Harbour breezed four furlongs in 47.40 on the main track under exercise rider Charlton Riley here Wednesday.

“He’s tuning up for the sales stakes,” said DePaulo, who has nominated Pender Harbour to both the Elgin and the Halton, two of the six stakes here Aug. 28 for horses who went through the ring at the local sales.

Pender Harbour, owned by Denny Andrews, Sandra Lazaruk, and Bob and Roberta Giffin, won last year’s $125,000 Elgin, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack stakes for colts and geldings.

The Mobil is a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Kissable hurting a bit

Kissable was bumped hard and lost all chance of a higher placing when she wound up sixth in Monday’s Waya at Saratoga, and she returned to Woodbine that night a little the worse for the experience.

“She didn’t cool out great,” said Roger Attfield, who had sent out the turf specialist to win last year’s 1 3/8-mile Waya. “She came back a little body-sore, which is not surprising when you’re going full blast like that and get turned sideways behind. It’s a good thing she didn’t go down.”

There was a stewards’ inquiry but no disqualification.

“She’s doing better this morning,” said Attfield here Wednesday.

Kissable now will point for the Sept. 15 Canadian, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares, and the Oct. 27 E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for the same set.

The Grade 2 Canadian offers a purse of $300,000, and the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor is worth $500,000.

Golden Sabre still on the mend

Golden Sabre had been a candidate for the Aug. 18 $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes, but instead will be looking for a return to action in late August or early September after a frightening mishap three weeks ago.

“He reared up and dropped the rider walking out of the tunnel,” said trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Golden Sabre had just finished his morning exercise on the Polytrack and his immediate thought was to head home to the Pierce barn.

“He didn’t make the left turn, and fell and slid on the pavement,” said Pierce, who trains the homebred Golden Sabre for Sam-Son Farm. “He scraped up his whole left side.

“He’s healing faster than I expected. When I first saw the horse, I thought he might be out for the year.”

Golden Sabre had a week off, then an easy second week before starting to gallop three days ago.

“He’s another week away from breezing,” said Pierce.

Golden Sabre has seen action just three times, winning his maiden impressively over 1 1/16 miles on turf here in his second outing and then finishing first only to be disqualified and placed fourth in the Charlie Barley at one mile on the E.P. Taylor course.

There were only 11 nominees for the Breeders’, a 1 1/2-mile turf race that is the final leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

“If he hadn’t got hurt he would have been kept eligible for the Breeders’, that’s for sure,” said Pierce,who still has the favorite for the race in Up With the Birds, a Sam-Son homebred who is coming off a second-place finish in the July 7 Queen’s Plate.