09/10/2009 11:00PM

'Yummy' seeks stakes breakthrough

Michael Burns
Stuck in Traffic figures to have a pace advantage in Sunday's $125,000 Overskate for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Yummy With Butter will be looking to shake a stakes jinx in Sunday's $125,000 Overskate, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up.

A 5-year-old gelding owned by Bruno Schickedanz and trained by Mark Fournier, Yummy With Butter has started in stakes races eight times, recording a pair of seconds and five thirds.

His second-place finishes came in last year's Overskate, where he was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by subsequent 3-year-old champion Not Bourbon, and in last month's 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton, in which he was beaten a head under returning rider Tyler Pizarro.

"Tyler rode him the way we'd talked about - let him settle and make one run," Fournier said. "Hopefully, he won't get stuck in behind horses."

While Yummy With Butter is winless at seven furlongs, he has recorded a pair of seconds and a third from four attempts.

"Six and a half furlongs is probably his best distance," Fournier said. "He gets an honest pace."

The lack of a contested pace could be a problem as Stuck in Traffic, one of two horses in the field trained by Nick Gonzalez, doesn't appear to have much competition for the front end.

A 4-year-old colt owned by M.A.D. Racing Stable and Gonzalez's wife and assistant, Martha, Stuck in Traffic set a quick pace before giving way grudgingly to be beaten a nose for second money in the Shepperton.

"He ran dynamite," Martha Gonzalez said. "He's just starting to come back to himself after a couple of disappointing races."

Stuck in Traffic has won five stakes, with the most recent being the six-furlong New Providence here May 9.

"Seven furlongs hasn't been an issue for him," said Gonzalez, who has watched Stuck in Traffic record a win and a second from three starts at the distance. "But it depends on how fast the fractions are."

Michael's Bad Boy, a second Gonzalez contestant, was making his first start in eight weeks when he finished third for the optional $62,500 claiming price in a second-level allowance over 6 1/2 furlongs of turf.

"That was one of the toughest optional claiming races all year," said Gonzalez, noting that the victorious Grand Adventure was heading to the Woodbine Mile.

After winning his first three starts of the season, capped by his first stakes score in the 1 1/16-mile Steady Growth, Michael's Bad Boy had ended last of eight when trying open company in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day on July 1.

"He's easy to read," Gonzalez said. "As soon as he started acting up in the gate and didn't run any good, he needs a little holiday. He did the same thing last year."

Motion invades for Swynford

Trainer Graham Motion, who has recorded six stakes winners here in invasions from his Fair Hill, Md., base, will have a good chance to add to that total when he sends out Turf Melody for Sunday's $150,000 Swynford.

The Swynford, a seven-furlong race for 2-year-olds, attracted a field of just five.

Turf Melody, a Kentucky-bred colt, ran third last time out in Arlington's seven-furlong Spectacular Bid, and the top two came back to duplicate that finish in the Arlington-Washington Futurity.

That effort followed a 15 1/4-length maiden win at Colonial Downs, also over seven furlongs in Turf Melody's second start.

"I think he's improved since his last race," Motion said. "I might not have done enough with him. He was very fresh and went very quick early. I think he's better prepared this time."

Following the Spectacular Bid, Turf Melody shipped to Saratoga with an eye toward the Grade 1 Hopeful.

"I toyed with the idea of running him there but came up with such a deep, competitive field," Motion said.

Turf Melody did get in two solid works at Saratoga, clipping four furlongs in 46.80 seconds and five furlongs in 1:00.60.

"I'd like to think he'd be more settled this time," Motion said.

Leading rider Patrick Husbands has picked up the mount on Turf Melody, who arrived at Woodbine on Thursday.

The filly Jenny So Great is another interesting addition to the Swynford field.

"I think she's a high-quality filly, and she's got a lot of upside," said Jenny So Great's trainer, Greg De Gannes. "She's very athletic."

An Ontario-bred who is owned by Bill and Vicki Poston, Jenny's So Great finished fourth as the favorite in her 5 1/2-furlong debut on July 17 after acting up prior to the start.

"She flipped over and hit the ground pretty hard," De Gannes said. "I was surprised she wasn't scratched. I thought she ran well, considering."

Jenny's So Great returned to action at six furlongs on Aug. 2 and was a nose winner over Ernfold, who came back to graduate impressively in her next appearance.

"I ran her back probably a little bit quick, but I didn't have a lot of options," De Gannes said. "Now she's had some time to mature, and I think she's going to give a good accounting of herself.

"It's not a big field, and if there's a time to tackle the boys I think it's now."

Becky's Kitten ships in for Summer

Becky's Kitten, a maiden winner over 1 1/16 miles of turf at Saratoga last time out, has checked into trainer Brian Lynch's barn for his engagement in next Saturday's $300,000 Summer.

The Summer, along with the same day's $150,000 Natalma for 2-year-old fillies, are both Grade 3, one-mile turf races that are part of the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In program.

Becky's Kitten, a homebred colt by Kitten's Joy, races for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. The colt was making his fourth career start and turf debut at Saratoga.

* The main turf course will be open Sunday to nominees for the Summer and Natalma, plus next Sunday's Woodbine Mile, Northern Dancer, and Canadian.

Daily sessions, from 7 to 10 a.m., will continue through Saturday, weather permitting.