10/18/2012 1:05PM

Woodbine: Olivier sports significant changes for Cup and Saucer

Michael Burns
Bear's Peak, winning the Bull Page. will skip Sunday's Bunty Lawless on turf to await the Dec. 2 Sir Barton on Polytrack.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Olivier was coming off an impressive maiden victory but delivered a poor performance when he wheeled back eight days later for the 6 1/2-furlong Simcoe Stakes. On Saturday at Woodbine, Olivier will be looking to play a leading role in the $250,000 Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race which attracted a field of nine Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

Olivier, an aptly named son of Strut the Stage, will be sporting a pair of equipment changes for the Cup and Saucer. He has been gelded since his last race and will be competing without blinkers for the first time.

“He started to get very bad-acting in the paddock last time, and he tried to get out during the race,” said trainer Reade Baker, who also owns Olivier with Augie Onesi. “He’s still a handful, but he’s not going to be as bad.”

Olivier also will be competing on a new stage as the Cup and Saucer will be his first try on grass.

“He’s certainly bred to handle it,” said Baker. “No Strut the Stage I ever saw went backward on it.”

Emma-Jayne Wilson, who has forged a successful partnership with Baker this year, retains the mount on Olivier.

Bear’s Peak will await Sir Barton

Baker had considered entering Bear’s Peak in Sunday’s $125,000 Bunty Lawless, a one-mile turf stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward. But the trainer ultimately elected to bypass the Bunty Lawless, which would have been Bear’s Peak’s first try on turf.

“I’d rather save him for the Poly,” said Baker, with an eye toward the $125,000 Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward here Dec. 2.

Bear’s Peak became a stakes winner in his last start, capturing the restricted Overskate at seven furlongs.

The Bunty Lawless attracted a field of 11 headed by Pender Harbour, last year’s Sovereign Award-winning 3-year-old male for trainer Mike DePaulo.

Opposing Pender Harbour will be Bug’s Boy, Celtic Conviction, Creeping Barrage, Forestador, Good Better Best, Mey’s Rocket, Reconnect, Red Eagle, and Weloiledmachine.

Crushin Hard, Good Better Best, and Mey’s Rocket each was supplemented to the Bunty Lawless at a cost of $2,500.

Maiden pre-enters BC Juvenile Fillies Turf

Nancy O, trained here by Carolyn Costigan, has been pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Owned by the trainer’s father, Bob Costigan, and Harry Dobson, Nancy O is a maiden after four starts but finished second to the colt Are You Kidding Me in the seven-furlong prep for the Summer Stakes and third behind Spring Venture and Spring in the Air in the Grade 3 Natalma at one mile on the grass.

Are You Kidding Me came back to finish second in the Summer and a close fifth in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland before being put away for the season.

Spring Venture, who had earned a berth in the Juvenile Fillies turf with her Natalma score, captured the Grade 3 Mazarine here over 1 1/16 miles of Polytrack in her next start but will return to turf for the Breeders’ Cup.

Spring in the Air made her next appearance in the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland, winning that 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race which was a Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Meanwhile, Nancy O traveled to New York and made her first start on a surface other than turf in the Grade 1 Frizette, where she was eased by her regular rider David Moran.

“I’m completely throwing out her last race,” said Costigan. “She had valid reasons for not performing on the dirt at Belmont.

“The filly’s doing extremely well. I couldn’t be happier with her. I’m looking forward to her next race.”

Costigan plans to check in at Santa Anita with Nancy O a week before her Nov. 2 race.

“We’ll let her settle in.”

Last pack of Europeans departs for home

The remaining members of the European contingent for last Sunday’s Canadian International Day Stake were headed out on Thursday afternoon.

All were being flown to Amsterdam and then will van to their respective homelands, with Joshua Tree, Dandino, Wigmore Hall, Barefoot Lady, and Night Carnation bound for England; Reliable Man, Siyouma, Pagera, and Trois Lunes for France; Scalo for Germany; and As de Trebol for Spain. Joshua Tree, winner of the Canadian International, is slated to make his next appearance in the Nov. 25 Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse.

Siyouma, the E.P. Taylor winner, also is looking to Japan for the Mile Championship at Kyoto Racecourse on Nov. 18.

Dandino, the Canadian International runner-up, came out of the race with a slight filling in a leg but is expected to be ready to travel to Asia for the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase on Dec. 9.

Pagera, the E.P. Taylor runner-up, is scheduled to go to Italy for the Group 1 Premio Roma, a 1 1/4-mile race at the Capannelle Racecourse in early November.

Barefoot Lady, who had come here from England to win the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes and finished fourth in the Taylor, will be going on the auction block at the Tattersalls sales late this fall.

Night Carnation, runner-up in the Nearctic, and Trois Lunes, 11th in the E.P. Taylor, are headed for the breeding shed.

Wagering available on Ascot card

All eyes will be on Ascot Racecourse Saturday as Frankel puts his unbeaten streak on the line in the Grade 1 Champion Stakes.

HPI television will be showing the Ascot card as part of its regular English racing package, with wagers going directly into the host pools.

First post for the Ascot races here will be approximately 8:45 a.m. with the Champion set for 11:05 a.m.

◗ The local Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has announced its election of officers for three-year terms with Sue Leslie retaining her position as president. Bill Diamant has been re-elected as vice president, owners, and Nick Gonzalez as vice president, trainers. Danny Vella is back as secretary treasurer.