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Woodbine notes: Baker, Bear Stable complete exacta in Kennedy Road Stakes
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – In the wake of sending out Bear Tough Tiger and Bear No Joke for a 1-2 finish here in Sunday’s Grade 3 Kennedy Road, trainer Reade Baker could not recall having furnished a similar stakes exacta during the course of his 101 previous career stakes victories.
It turned out that Baker’s memory was faulty as he won the 2006 Mazarine here with Coy Coyote and saddled runner-up A.P. Reality for different owners.
There’s nothing like the present, however, and Baker’s Kennedy Road feat still was unique in that both Bear Tough Tiger and Bear No Joke race for owner Danny Dion of Bear Stable nomenclature.
“Obviously, I’m very happy,” said Baker, who had watched Bear’s Tough Tiger and jockey Justin Stein prevail by a neck after battling through the final furlong with Bear No Joke and Emma-Jayne Wilson in the six-furlong Kennedy Road.
Bear Tough Tiger, a Florida-bred 4-year-old gelding, was recording his first stakes win in the $157,000 Kennedy Road.
In his start prior to the Kennedy Road, which came six weeks earlier in the Grade 1 Nearctic over six furlongs of turf, Bear Tough Tiger had battled throughout on the inside before finishing a length behind the winner as the third-place finisher.
“I think he’s a better turf horse,” said Baker, whose initial move will be to send to Bear Tough Tiger to the nearby Curraghmore Farm of Vera Simpson and Michael Dube. “He’ll come down to me at Palm Meadows in January. We’ll wait and see if we can win a good race on the grass with him next year.”
Bear No Joke will be following the same off-season program after placing second in a stakes for the third time in the Kennedy Road.
Bred in Ontario, the 4-year-old gelding Bear No Joke also was the runner-up here in last year’s six-furlong Achievement and in this September’s six-furlong Kenora for 3-year-olds and up who were products of the local yearling sale.
Baker, who was recording his seventh stakes win of the meeting in the Kennedy Road, expects to have one more chance to add to that total with Bear Fabulous Son being on target for Saturday’s $150,000 Display, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds.
Bear Fabulous Son, a Florida-bred who is owned by Dion, graduated from the maiden ranks when making his fifth career start and racing without blinkers for the first time in a seven-furlong maiden race here Nov. 4.
“I think he’ll go around two turns, no problem,” said Baker, who is throwing out Bear Fabulous Son’s previous try at a mile and 70 yards. “I think he’ll relax a little better now.”
Magic Broomstick perfect on year
Magic Broomstick didn’t get her campaign started until Sept. 30 and saw action just three times on the season.
But the Kentucky-bred 6-year-old mare, owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Malcolm Pierce, made every start count as she won the Avowal at seven furlongs on turf, the off-the turf River Memories at a mile and 70 yards, and last Saturday’s Grade 3 Bessarabian at seven furlongs on Polytrack.
Those three starts make Magic Broomstick eligible for Sovereign Award consideration, and she could receive support in any or all of the older filly or mare, female sprinter, or female turf horse categories.
“They may have to invent a new Sovereign Award, for the most versatile horse,” said Pierce, who watched Magic Broomstick’s Bessarabian triumph from New Orleans, where he currently has 18 horses at the Fair Grounds while his wife and assistant, Sally, runs the show here. “Poly, turf, long, short – it didn’t matter. She’s done nothing wrong; she’s just got a huge heart. She tries so hard every time you run her.
“I thought she was strictly a grass horse before the last two races.”
Sally Pierce confirmed Monday morning that Magic Broomstick was scheduled to head to Kentucky this week to be bred.
“She’s a lovely filly,” Pierce said. “She does everything beautifully.”
Magic Broomstick retires with a record of eight wins, a second, four thirds, and a bankroll of $487,040.
Forest Uproar, a homebred 6-year-old who races for Sam-Son and the Pierce barn, also was entered in the Bessarabian but was scratched .
“She’s going down to the Fair Grounds to run in the Blushing K.D.,” Sally Pierce said. “Then she’ll come back up to Kentucky to be bred.”
The $75,000 Blushing K.D. is a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares on Dec. 22.
Smartlyfly gets time off after win
Smartlyfly completed a perfect weekend here for Sam-Son and Sally Pierce when winning a 1 1/16-mile maiden race in her third career start here Sunday afternoon.
“She’s leaving for Florida this week for some time off,” Sally Pierce said. “She’s broken her maiden, she’s stakes placed, she’s had three starts – she’s done enough for a baby.”
Smartlyfly finished a closing second, beaten just a nose, when debuting at seven furlongs and then ran third in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth when facing fellow Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.
Aldous Snow just misses in stakes
Aldous Snow, a homebred 3-year-old colt owned by Sam-Son, came up just short in a bid for his first stakes victory when he rallied strongly to finish second, beaten a head, in last Friday’s $75,000 Woodchopper over one mile of turf at Fair Grounds.
“A mile and a jump and he’s a winner,” said Malcolm Pierce, who also had watched Aldous Snow finish second on the turf here this summer in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders’ and one-mile Halton. “He’s been a bad-luck horse, but he’s made a good living.”
Aldous Snow arrived in Florida late Saturday afternoon.
“He’ll be turned out for 30 days, then ridden for 30 days, then probably join back up with me here and stop at Keeneland on the way home,” Pierce said. “I think he’s going to be a nice, handy horse up there next year, going long on the grass.”
◗ Jermaine Bridgmohan has been suspended three racing days – this Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday – after the stewards ruled he had gone out with his mount, Big Daddy Bill, and interfered with Political Fever approaching the finish of last Wednesday’s first race. Big Daddy Bill was disqualified from first and placed second behind Political Fever.
◗ Jockeys Michelle Rainford and Juan Crawford both began serving days last Sunday after losing appeals of earlier stewards rulings. Rainford’s three-day ban will continue this Wednesday and Friday, while Crawford will miss a total of six racing days through Dec. 5.
◗ Nigel Burke, who had been working in Roger Attfield’s stable, has turned in his assistant trainer’s license and successfully completed the requirements to be a jockey agent. Burke, who will be booking mounts for apprentice Tommy Wong, is the son of Ron Burke, a former trainer who is representing local riders David Moran and Richard Dos Ramos.