Bear Now Outclasses Duchess Stakes Rivals

Bear Now, the 4-5 favorite, made easy work of six rivals in the CAN$150,000 Duchess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine Aug. 11.

Jerry Baird piloted the dark bay daughter of Tiznow  to an easy 6 1/4-length victory in front-running style for trainer Reade Baker and owner Bear Stables.

Speak Wisely was second, while Lyrically was a half-length back in third.

The running time over the Polytrack was a solid 1:22.15 for seven furlongs.

"As soon as she popped out of the gate, she knew where she wanted to be," said Baird, who piloted Bear Now through early splits of :23.08 and :45.79. "I didn't fight her; I let her do her own thing and she took off from there."

It was Baird's second Woodbine stakes win of the season and first Duchess score.

The victory was Bear Now's third career stakes tally and fifth overall from 11 starts. In six races this season, the filly has three triumphs and one third.

"I didn't want her to get into a speed duel," said Baker, who won last year's Duchess with Vestrey Lady in similar wire-to-wire fashion. "When the 23 (opening quarter) went up, it was over."

Bear Now came into the Duchess off a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Delaware Oaks (gr. II) July 14.

Before that, Bear Now won the Selene (Can-III) by eight lengths May 20 and followed up with a 9 3/4-length romp in the Hill 'N' Dale June 16.

She paid $3.70, $2.40, $2.30 and combined with Speak Wisely ($4.40, $3.70) for a $13.70 exacta. Lyrically returned $4.10 to show and capped the $85.90 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)

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