11/10/2011 3:12PM

Woodbine: Unbridled Kimanchi stays home for Autumn Stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Brian Lynch has defied the pundits in the past, with prime examples being his victories last year with Golden Moka in Fort Erie’s Prince of Wales and Miami Deco in Woodbine’s Breeders’ Stakes.

So it may be unwise to be unduly dismissive of Unbridled Kimanchi, who will be contesting Saturday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Autumn Stakes after recording his first lifetime win in his last appearance.

“I’ve always been very high on him,” said Lynch, who took charge of Unbridled Kimanchi for Sal Simone’s Terra di Sienna Stables here this summer. “He ran so good the other day. If he halfway fits in there, and he could improve a little bit, he may be a force to be reckoned with.”

Unbridled Kimanchi came to Lynch this summer as an unplaced maiden after three starts, the first of which came on the dirt at Santa Anita and the others on the turf at Hollywood Park.

The 3-year-old colt didn’t take long to show an affinity for his new surroundings, however, and had a series of solid trials to his credit when he made his local debut in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on Sept. 25.

“He just sort of blossomed all around,” Lynch said. “He’s sort of been maturing into himself. Everything’s come together up here.”

Unbridled Kimanchi had been a main-track-only entrant in a first-level turf allowance here Oct. 30, but when that race went as scheduled, Lynch had both the Autumn and Aqueduct’s Nov. 19 Discovery as backups.

While the 1 1/8-mile Discovery is for 3-year-olds, Lynch decided that remaining at Woodbine was the preferred course of action.

“He ran so well on this course, and I only have to lead him from the barn over to the front side,” Lynch said.

Lynch making plans in Florida

Lynch already has a dozen horses at Palm Meadows, and three are penciled in for upcoming stakes engagements in the Sunshine State.

Gondorf, a 4-year-old gelding who was a front-running winner of a 1 3/4-mile starter allowance on the turf here Oct. 9, is slated to make his stakes debut in Calder’s Nov. 26 W.L. McKnight Handicap. The McKnight, a 1 1/2-mile turf race, offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $150,000.

Pica Slew, a 4-year-old who has been here with Lynch since late summer but has not raced since the end of January, is a candidate for the Dec. 10 Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream Park.

The Sugar Swirl, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares, is a Grade 3 worth $100,000. Lynch trained Sugar Swirl when she swept the three filly/mare sprint stakes at Gulfstream in 2008.

Red Hot Doll, who concluded her Canadian campaign with back-to-back wins in restricted Cup races at Fort Erie, is slated for a New Year’s Day appearance in Gulfstream’s Old Hat. The Old Hat, a six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, is a Grade 3 worth $100,000.

Las Malvegas set for Glorious Song

Las Malvegas made her stakes debut on the road, finishing second in the six-furlong Presque Isle Debutante.

On Sunday, Las Malvegas will be making her first stakes appearance on her home grounds when she faces 12 other 2-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Glorious Song at seven furlongs.

“She ran really well last time,” said trainer Mike Mattine, noting that Debutante winner Citizen Advocate won the $150,000 My Trusty Cat at Delta Downs in her next start. “Now, we’ll try to get her to go seven-eighths.”

Las Malvegas, purchased as a weanling for $80,000 at Keeneland, had raced three times for owner Ted Burnett prior to her Pennsylvania foray.

“She’d always showed that she had talent,” said Mattine, who had watched Las Malvegas finish fourth and then second at 5 1/2 furlongs before graduating impressively at five furlongs. “We’ve taught her to rate and make one run. She’s handled that part pretty good.”

Las Malvegas breezed five furlongs in 1:04.20 under regular rider Emile Ramsammy here last Saturday after being clocked in 59.80 seconds for the same distance 11 days earlier.

“She does whatever she’s asked,” Mattine said. “She can work fast; she can work easy.

“She’s on course, good to go.”

Grace Phil eyes Ontario Lassie after win

Grace Phil remained undefeated in two starts when recording a stylish victory here in Wednesday night’s $125,000 South Ocean.

Ridden by Steven Bahen, Grace Phil stalked the pace of front-running Consecutive and then took over for a two-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile stakes for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies.

“She’s a good-looking filly,” said Bob Tiller, who trains Grace Phil for longtime client Frank DiGiulio and a group of that owner’s friends who race as Hoof Hearted Stables. “She ran a good race, to be able to go from six furlongs to a mile and a sixteenth shows she has talent, and she has a license to improve off that.”

Grace Phil, purchased for $11,000 at the local yearling sale, had won at first asking here in an Ontario-sired maiden race Oct. 8.

“We took our time with her,” said Tiller, who had kept Grace Phil in Ontario over the winter. “At first, she was pretty temperamental, but she really matured.

“She looks like an afternoon horse. She’s not a blazing horse in the morning. She just does what she has to do.

“I think she’s got some talent and she’s got a chance, especially when she can go long.”

Grace Phil could make one more appearance here this year, with the $150,000 Ontario Lassie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies, being a tempting target.

Tiller also will be represented in the Glorious Song with Casa Loma, who is coming off a close fourth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies, slated to go postward in that bulky field.

“She only got beat a length and three-quarters,” Tiller said. “She wouldn’t relax early, and there was no speed in the race. I thought it was a funnily run race.”

Casa Loma, owned by Rolph Davis, had put together back-to-back wins at seven furlongs prior to the Princess Elizabeth.

◗ Bubbles to the Top drilled four furlongs in a bullet 47 seconds here Thursday under exercise rider Charlton Riley in preparation for Wednesday’s $150,000 Jammed Lovely.

“We wanted to sharpen her up a bit, coming off route races,” trainer Mike DePaulo said.

The Jammed Lovely is a seven-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.