05/16/2011 12:45PM

Woodbine: Northern Bear looks strong in Ontario-sired allowance


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Northern Bear should be on the prowl for the lion’s share of the $58,600 purse in Wednesday night’s Woodbine feature. The 6 1/2-furlong allowance for Ontario-sired stock drew a field of 16, which includes two also-eligibles. Carded as race 7, it will conclude the pick four, which has a guaranteed pool of $75,000.

Northern Bear finished second as part of a win photo in both of his starts in April 2010. Following a layoff of nearly a year on April 10, he came from a stalking position to capture a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special for Ontario-sired runners.

Northern Bear was a possible bounce candidate when he was favored 17 days later in a six-furlong allowance, and he finished a non-threatening third after racing from behind a slow pace. The winner, Steady Stuart, came back to run second in a tougher Ontario-sired allowance, while fourth-place finisher Sky of Grey won his next outing.

Jesse Campbell, who won aboard his only mount at the meet for Northern Bear’s trainer, Steve Owens, has the call.

Cook’s Look has spent an eternity at this nonwinners-of-two Ontario-sired condition, while earning his keep. He rallied for third in his five-furlong season opener and then outran Northern Bear for second after closing from the back of the pack April 27.

Eurico Da Silva inherits the mount on Cook’s Look from Luis Contreras, who’s scheduled to ride two horses for trainer Reade Baker at Presque Isle Downs on Wednesday. Contreras also was aboard for Northern Bear’s maiden triumph.

The Baker-trained Reap the Benefit should be well-backed off his front-running maiden victory April 10, for which he got a 76 Beyer Speed Figure. The runner-up, Shades of Gold, came right back to graduate, a good sign.

Reap the Benefit has worked five-eighths four times since earning his diploma and will have Emma Wilson back in the saddle.

Whers the Juice had been idle for more than a year when he was a wide-closing third, beaten just three-quarters of a length, in the slower split of an April 27 allowance. His trainer, John Ross, has hit the board with five of seven starters at the meet but is without a win.

Flim Flam was competitive in two of his three starts at this level in the fall. He has worked quickly for his return from a layoff under the guidance of leading trainer Mark Casse.

Classic Executive is adding blinkers off a wide fifth-place finish behind Cook’s Look and Northern Bear.