It wasn’t a day for favourites at Woodbine racing results from Sunday, with the rain-softened ground lending itself to mild upsets. Mutamakina led home a one-two for trainer Christophe Clement in the big prize of the day, the Grade 1 EP Taylor, while local star Avie’s Flatter sprinted to victory in the Grade 2 Nearctic, the highlight of the undercard on a big day in Toronto.
EP Taylor Stakes
Mutamakina shines for Clement
A trainer pulled off the old one-two in Sunday’s EP Taylor at Woodbine, and for a change it wasn’t Chad Brown in the limelight. This time the exacta was down to Christophe Clement, whose Mutamakina gained her first Grade 1 success with a battling performance.
The five-year-old daughter of Nathaniel, who is also the sire of European champion Enable, won over course and distance on her previous start and followed up in tenacious fashion, sitting just off the very slow fractions set by the favourite Kalifornia Queen until grinding her way to the front inside the final sixteenth.
Once Mutamakina ($19.80) got to the lead, she had enough in reserve to hold the late flourish of stablemate La Dragontea, who flew down the lane but missed the money by a neck. Kalifornia Queen was another neck back in third in what was always likely to be a hectic finish after such a steady early pace. The time for the ten furlongs on heavy ground was 2:09 and change.
“She was handling the slow pace well for me and I just needed her to finish strong,” said winning jockey Dylan Davis. “Once she got her head in front she was digging in nicely, and she dealt with the turf well today.”
Mutamakina began her career in France and has now won three times in the US – all at Graded level – after arriving at around this time last year. Clement indicated that it was unlikely, but not out of the question, that she or the fast-finishing La Dragontea would head to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Flatter doesn’t deceive
A drop in distance proved the key to getting Avie’s Flatter back in the groove, the five-year-old coming back from a mile and utilising his speed to land a sixth win at the Toronto track, and his third of 2021.
Momos, the sole three-year-old in the Nearctic, went out to wire the field but the posse was stacked up behind him as he turned for home. Avie’s Flatter ($16.50), under Luis Contreras, came five wide down the lane and was soon in front, keeping on strongly under a drive to score by a half-length from Turned Aside, stopping the clock in 1:10 and one-half. Third home was Olympic Runner, a length further back, with the favourite Town Cruise fifth.
“This is a good horse,” trainer Josie Carroll told the BloodHorse. “We have him back to sprinting now and he’s thriving on it. It’s wonderful. This horse is a barn favourite so it’s very special for all of us when he wins.”