Bear It's Time, under full urging from Luis Contreras on the final turn, was all out to get up by a head in the $260,800 Bison City Stakes (VIDEO), the second jewel of Canada's Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine July 3.
The race lacked the presence of Inglorious, the Woodbine Oaks winner who doubled up in last month's Queen's Plate to become the toast of Canadian racing. Six Canadian-foaled fillies contested the 1 1/16-mile Bison City, including Woodbine Oaks runner-up Spooky Kitten, the 9-5 favorite.
Bear It's Time, fifth early, collared Niigon's Touch, ridden by Tyler Pizarro, just before the wire to produce a mild upset while completing the distance in 1:44.72 over the Polytrack surface. Spooky Kitten, who led to mid-stretch for Edgar Prado, finished just a half-length back in third.
The winner, a daughter of Philanthropist--Time Allowed, by Missionary Ridge, is trained by Reade Baker for Bear Stables. Gardiner Farms bred the chestnut filly in Ontario. The bargain $6,026 Canadian yearling purchase in September 2009 has now won three of five lifetime races.
Bear It’s Time entered the Bison City off a sixth-place finish in the Woodbine Oaks June 5, her first route attempt. That effort came on the heels of a sharp win in the seven-furlong Lady Angela Stakes.
“That wasn’t fair, the Oaks,” said Baker. “Emma (Wilson) rode her perfect but she was too sharp that day, never mind coming back in thirteen days. We had a little bit more time (to prepare for the Bison City) and she’ll probably be better down the road.”
Baker was content with the late surge engineered by Contreras.
“It was perfect but he could have made it a little easier,” joked Baker. “I thought of ducking these races to go to the Ontario-sired races but the Ontario sire that ran second (Niigon’s Touch) ran a hell of a race.”
Spooky Kitten and Pleasantfriday led the field through an easy quarter-mile in :25.07 and the half in 49.03. Spooky Kitten maintained a narrow lead after six furlongs in 1:14.04.
Moving into the far turn, jockey Pizarro urged Niigon’s Touch up to meet the leaders with Bear It’s Time following. Niigon’s Touch put away Spooky Kitten in deep stretch but Contreras and Bear It’s Time were up in time to prevail.
The third jewel of the Triple Tiara series is the Wonder Where Stakes July 31.
Bear It’s Time returned $9.70, $5.20, and $3.40, combining with Niigon’s Touch ($5, $3.20) for an exacta worth $50. Spooky Kitten paid $2.60 to show. Marketing Mix was a close fourth, followed by Pleasantfriday and American Placed.