Watch Canadian Track Woodbine Races Videos
Canadian track at Woodbine held a prestigious meeting throughout the last weekend with five Grade races that we will mention here. However, the pinnacle of the whole weekend was a race meant for Canadian bred horses only, rendering the Queen’s Plate not eligible for Grade status; still, its purse in about 1,000,000 CAD drew a field of interesting 13 participants. G1 Highlander Stakes was another peak of the meeting, attracting eight sprinters competing for $308,458 on turf.
Sunday 22nd was the new date of the Canadian oldest race – The Queen’s Plate over 1 mile and 4 furlongs. The new date was set because usually the event is held in June or July, but due to the Covid situation, the race was moved to August this year. It is open only to three-year-old horses born in Canada; thus, it is not a graded contest despite being a prestigious one; in other words, it is the first of the local Triple Crown.
In the pinnacle of the meeting at Woodbine track, 13 participants pursued the purse of $781,479 on Tapeta, where no surprise occurred as favourite Safe Conduct (2-1) struck gold under Irad Ortiz Jr.. The Philip Serpe bound colt won the 162nd Queen’s Plate by a head after closely following the leader; in the second turn, he took the lead and just held off late finisher Riptide Rock (10-1) in 2:02:58.
After being only eighth in the Belmond Derby, it was Safe Conduct’s first black-type success. H C Holliday (28-1) was third, while the second favourite Munnyfor Ro (5-2) finished fourth.
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Other excellent races were held at the Canadian Track Woodbine on Sunday, for example, this G3 contest for three-year-old fillies over one mile on turf. The purse of $116,989 attracted the field of seven participants, with Misspell (7-10) failing to impress when managing only fifth place after turning too wide for the home. Four of her rivals proved too strong for her that day, with Our Flash Drive (3-2) stealing the scene thanks to her very promising performance.
The Mark Casse trained bay filly tracked the leader that she then left quickly behind. Without a fight, she bagged another G3 victory as she also won Selena Stakes in July, hinting she could do well also in a tougher company. With Patrick Husbands aboard, she cruised home in 1:34.76 with the advantage of 1 a ½ lengths over second Seasons (6-1). Speightstown Shirl (5-2) was third, Perseverancia (13-1) finished fourth.
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The G2 race over 1 mile and 4 furlongs held at turf attracted the field of seven three-year-old and older fillies and mares that fought for the purse of $141,127, with another favourite losing to the second chance. In other words, Mutakamina (12-5) is an ex-French five-year-old mare who thrives in the US so much she succeeded in G3 last year, but on Sunday, she reached her first G2 triumph by half a length under Dylan Davis.
She looked great from the beginning, enthusiastically stalking the leader as they quickened the pace, leaving the rest of the field behind. Mutakamina then had no problem to charge for the first place. Her rivals were trying to diminish the gap, and the favourite Etoile (1-5) was closing on her together with a duo Merveilleux (6-1) – Court Return (21-1); still, they just couldn’t catch her. Mutakamina crossed the wire in 2:01.26.
The last prestigious race of the Sunday card at the Canadian Track Woodbine was the G1 for three-year-old and older horses over 6f. The field of eight participants pursued the purse of $308,458 on turf, while Nicholas Gonzales trained Silent Poet (9-1) caused an upset when winning by half a length. The six-year-old gelding tracked the leaders, and even though he ran the turn wide, he didn’t give a chance to his rivals when going clear in the stretch.
By winning the Highlander Stakes, he achieved his first G1 victory after he managed to bag three G2 success in two years. The talented sprinter crossed the wire in 1:07.98 with Justin Stein aboard. At the same time, Admiralty Pier (23-2) finished second, and hot favourite Caravel (11-20) weakened in the final stretched and managed only third place. City Boy (14-1) was fourth; Honey Won’t (83-1) fifth.
Eons (3-5) was a favourite who didn’t fare on Saturday when unable to deliver in G3 over 1 mile and 4 furlongs. On turf, Corelli (3-1), trained by Jonathan Thomas, secured the victory with the purse of $125,391 as in the field of three-year-old and older horses, he was off the pace in the beginning but finished strongly between horses to win by 1 ¾ length.
As soon as Kazushi Kimura found him a free spot, his rivals couldn’t quite match him despite carrying less than him, with the exception in Eons. It was the very first graded victory for the white-faced six-year-old; however, he placed in G1 company last year. Behind Corelli, who won in 2:01.7, English Conqueror (10-1) was the best of the rest, finishing second before pacesetting Belichick (2-1), fourth Theregoesjojo (8-1) and fifth Primo Touch (25-2).
After winning the Whimsical Stakes, Boardroom (1-20) trained by Josie Carroll also delivered in this G3 over 7f on Tapeta. In the field of seven three-year-old and older fillies and mares competing for the purse of $121,180, Luis Contreras lead her fourth on the outside before attacking the leading horse and drawing clear in the stretch.
The four-year-old filly was imposing, crossing the wire in 1:22.02, as she fulfilled the role of a favorite even though she carried more than second Our Secret Agent (3-2), finishing 4 and ½ behind her. Amalfi Coast (3-1) broke slowly and couldn’t catch the first two when grabbing third place before Golden Vision (25-1) and Hell N Wild (31-1).
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