2nd at 5ECLIPSE S.
(CAN-III , 8.5f , to Ice Bear, defeating Approval Rating, Equitable, Cool Gator, Independent George, Mike Fox, Judiths Wild Rush, Artie Hot ).
Making his second start off a layoff, 5-year-old Ice Bear earned a hard-fought neck victory June 6 in the Eclipse Stakes (Can-III) over the Polytrack at Woodbine. The son of MariaÕs Mon has now won stakes in three consecutive racing seasons at Woodbine, getting his first graded win in the process.
Coming from just off the pace, Ice Bear got the lead in the stretch and held off Canadian champion Marchfield to get the win.
Ice Bear is a homebred for George StrawbridgeÕs Augustin Stable. Strawbridge has already had an excellent season, with two-time grade I winner Informed Decision and grade IIT winner Forever Together (last yearÕs champion turf female), who ran second in the Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont the same day.
Ice Bear came into the 11Ú16-mile Eclipse off a fourth-place finish May 24 in the Connaught Cup (Can-IIIT) for trainer Mac Benson.
ÒIt certainly set him up for this good,Ó Benson said after the race. ÒHe seems to love the Poly. I canÕt get over the way heÕs taken to the Poly over the last two years. I guess we better stick to it.Ó
In 11 starts on WoodbineÕs Polytrack layout, Ice Bear has four wins including last yearÕs win in the With Approval Stakes.
Three-time stakes winner Bristol Pistol, the dam of the Eclipse Stakes winner, delivered a filly by Broken Vow April 29. Bristol PistolÕs second dam is the blue hen mare Mrs. Peterkin. A stakes winner for Newstead Farm in the late 1960s, Mrs. Peterkin is responsible for 1977 Kentucky Oaks (gr. II) winner Sweet Alliance, Mass ÕCap (gr. II) winner and sire Dancing Champ, and 1979 California Oaks winner Whydidju. One of Mrs. PeterkinÕs unraced fillies, Kinema, is the dam of grade I winner and Juddmonte stallion Mizzen Mast.
The late MariaÕs Mon is responsible for 41 stakes winners and has two in 2009: Ice Bear and Well Monied, who won the May 31 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park. Champion 2-year-old male of 1995, MariaÕs Mon stood at Josephine AbercrombieÕs Pin Oak Stud near Versailles, Ky., until he was euthanized due to multiple organ dysfunction in September 2007.ÑE.I.H.
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