Outsider Bear's Kid got loose on the front end and ran to victory in the $241,199 Summer Stakes (Can-II) for 2-year-olds going a mile on a soft turf Sunday at Woodbine.
The Kentucky-bred bay colt by Lemon Drop Kid
-Tap to Music (by Pleasant Tap), a 15-1 shot trained by Reade Baker and ridden confidently by Jim McAleney, held off Badge of Truth by 1 3/4 lengths.
The final time was 1:40 1/5.
"He wasn't going that fast," offered Baker, in the midst of a prosperous campaign at Woodbine. "He was galloping and they started struggling around the turn. Jimmy was really cute here. He got the lead out of it. They just couldn't catch up. You can't beat what you can't catch."
Bear's Kid outdueled 9-10 favorite Baur Au Lac and took the lead just after the first quarter mile through early fractions of :23.03 and :47.00. He opened up a two-length advantage after completing six furlongs in 1:13.47 and would not give way to the stalking Badge of Truth, who was ridden by Jono Jones.
"We were going too slow, and this horse didn't want to go that easy," said McAleney of the early pace. "So I let him stretch it out a little bit and pick up the tempo. We actually had really easy splits around the turn. It was like a gallop for him. I was able to get him running again before the head of the stretch. He finished tremendous."
Wedding Singer, one of two Todd Pletcher starters, rallied for third after breaking outward from his outside post position. The other Pletcher entry, Baur Au Lac, faded to last.
Adena Springs bred Bear's Kid, who picked up $144,313 for the win.
Bear's Kid, who finished seventh and first, respectively, in two starts at Northlands Park in Edmonton, was second over a yielding Woodbine turf in his last outing on Sept. 1.
Bear's Kid returned $33.10, $9.50, and $6.00, combining with Badge of Truth ($4.10, $2.90) for a $128.10 exacta. Wedding Singer ($4.90), ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, completed a trifecta worth $1,118.25.
A field of nine was reduced to seven by the scratches of Pallister Park and Santiago Star. Smoke Em Again ran fourth, followed by Kid Carousel, Thunder Bowl, and Baur Au Lac.