Summer Sunday and jockey Rafael Hernandez winning the $175,000 Royal North Stakes (Grade 2) on Sunday, July 21 at Woodbine Racetrack.

By: Blogs |


CTHS sale graduate 3 for 3 at Woodbine in 2019

with files from Woodbine media

Summer Sunday and jockey Rafael Hernandez winning the $175,000 Royal North Stakes (Grade 2) on Sunday, July 21 at Woodbine Racetrack.

Summer Sunday and jockey Rafael Hernandez winning the $175,000 Royal North Stakes (Grade 2) on Sunday, July 21 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

Summer Sunday kept her flawless Woodbine record in tact winning the Grade 2 Royal North Stakes for fillies and mares during Woodbine’s Sunday program.

The $175,000 six-furlong sprint was the four-year-old filly’s seventh local conquest, but first on Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course, for trainer Stuart Simon and owners Anne and William Scott.

Following a cavalry charge out of the gate, Summer Sunday assumed command with Veil pressing the pace and Magic Spell racing between those two rivals briefly before that filly settled behind. After fractions of :22.96 and :45.09, Summer Sunday drew clear in the stretch to score by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:08.26.

Despite having Veil alongside and competing on a new surface, winning jockey Rafael Hernandez said his filly took it all in stride.

“I’ll tell you, we’ve been working that from two races ago and she’s been showing everything she can do, you know, relaxing good,” said Hernandez, who is the second-leading jockey of the meet and has earned eight wins this week. “I know the race was going to be tough, but I know whoever’s going to beat me, they had to run faster.

Bred in Ontario by Trinity West Stables Ltd., the Silent Name-Dancing Allstar filly has earned more than $580,000 from nine lifetime starts with wins in all seven of her Woodbine races.

“It’s getting a little scary, she’s got a little streak going,” said Simon. “She’s just so genuine, she’s been a gift. She’ll just do whatever you want of her.

“She’s just got such a fantastic head on her that she knows when it’s go time. She just naturally does things that you need her to do to be successful.”

Summer Sunday, who was a $95,000 yearling purchase at the 2016 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Sale, also won the Nandi and Muskoka Stakes during her juvenile campaign and picked up a Fury Stakes score last year.


Friday’s racing at Woodbine was cancelled as severe weather was projected in addition to the heat and humidity.

Saturday’s races went on, however, and horsepeople and vets and track staff had to band together to monitor and care for horses in action.

While most other tracks in the US cancelled Saturday, Monmouth Park began its Haskell card before delaying the stakes races until evening. Woodbine seemed to go off well and wagering of $8.5 million was stunning.

Whether horses who competed on the day will be negatively affected by racing that day remains to be seen but a good job was done by everyone looking after the runners (and the many who scratched).

The day’s feature was the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen won by the Chad Brown trained Seek and Destroy. Jockey Luis Contreras completed a sweep of Saturday’s turf stakes at the Toronto oval as he guided Armistice Day trained by Barb Minshall to victory in the Toronto Cup earlier in the day.

The Grade 3 Ontario Colleen, a one-mile added-money event for three-year-old fillies, was the first stakes to be contested over Woodbine’s new inner turf course since the opening on June 28.

“It’s been very good to tell you the truth,” said Contreras of the new course. “The only thing, I haven’t been that lucky to win a race [on the inside turf], but finally I broke the ice.”

Picking up the mount on the popular Chad Brown-trained filly for her Woodbine debut, Contreras had Seek and Destroy between foes stalking the front-runners, 2-1 second choice Sister Peacock and longshot I’ll Take the Gold. The top two battled head-to-head through a quarter in :23.27 and half in :46.57 before Sister Peacock, pursuing her third straight local stakes win, shook off the early challenger past three-quarters in 1:10.28.

Seek and Destroy launched her attack coming off the turn and proved to be much the best with a strong closing kick, winning by three lengths in 1:35.65. Speedy Soul, fresh off her Bison City victory in the Triple Tiara series at the end of June, came on for second-place honours while Sister Peacock finished third.

Bred by William B. Harrigan, the Verrazano-Search and Seizure filly is a half-sister to the multiple graded stakes winner Tammy the Torpedo, also trained by Brown. Seek and Destroy, a $425,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland Sale by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, is now four-for-seven lifetime including the Grade 3 Soaring Softly Stakes two starts ago at Belmont Park.

Saturday and Sunday’s cards were top heavy with grass racing on the E P Taylor and inner turf and surface switches for horses led to quite a few giant form reversals.

From the 2-year-old SHORT SUMMER DRESS (Munnings) coming back from a sixth place finish to win her second career race on Saturday at 6 furlongs on turf to Sunday’s victory by MAXIMUM PERFECTION who won his career debut on June 2, was eased on June 23 and then won on Sunday. Not easy sledding for handicappers.

Top Winning Beyer Figures in Canada last week:







Plate ‘Boy’ takes on 4 rivals

TONE BROKE schools in the paddock at Fort Erie – FORT ERIE RACETRACK PHOTO

Five runners from the Queen’s Plate will rematch on the dirt surface at Fort Erie Race Track for the 84th Prince of Wales Stakes. The race is the 2nd jewel in the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, to be held on Tuesday, July 23. Post time is 7:40 p.m.

After conquering the Queen’s Plate with a front running 3 1/2 score, One Bad Boy will be looking for another victory in the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, with jockey Flavien Prat back in the saddle. They will be leaving the starting gate from post position one, running the 1 3/16 miles on the dirt track.

“He’s used to working on the dirt track at Santa Anita, he trains over it well,” said part owner Brooke Hubbard about One Bad Boy when asked how she thinks he will handle the dirt track at Fort Erie. “We know there is a lot of history to this track so we are super excited to be here. We are looking forward to taking on the Canadian Triple Crown, it’s one of the main reasons we decided to stay in Canada.”

AVIE’S FLATTER works at Fort Erie – Fort Erie photo

After leaving from position 14 in the Queen’s Plate and finishing second, Avie’s Flatter and jockey Javier Castellano will be looking for better results this time around for trainer Josie Carroll and owner Ivan Dalos. Carroll and Dalos won the Prince of Wales in 2016 with Amis Gizmo. “Avie’s Flatter skipped over the track and seemed very comfortable. He’s a very consistent horse across every surface,” said Carroll after Avie’s Flatter worked at Fort Erie last week.

Carroll is also training He’s a Macho Man for owner Di Scola Boys Stable, and brought him down for training last week as well with jockey Patrick Husbands, who will be in the saddle for the Prince of Wales. “I’m glad we brought him down. Patrick Husbands worked him and said he was a little lost on the track because he likes to take a look at everything, so his time wasn’t very fast but Patrick loved the way he got across the track,” said Carroll.

Rounding out the field is Skywire, with jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva for trainer Mark Casse, who won last year’s Prince of Wales with the filly Wonder Gadot. Skywire was the 2-1 post time favourite and finished 11th in the Queen’s Plate, however was hampered badly by an inward-breaking Tone Broke. After a steward’s inquiry the results remained unchanged. Tone Broke finished third, and will be the fifth contender in the Prince of Wales with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr, leaving from post position 3 for trainer Steven Asmussen and owner L and N Racing LLC.

The Prince of Wales Stakes is Fort Erie Race Track’s signature event. The race is the second jewel in the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, between the Queen’s Plate, which was held on June 29 at Woodbine Racetrack, and the Breeders’ Stakes coming up on August 17 on the Woodbine turf course.

The event will be televised from 7-8 p.m. ET on TSN 1, 3, 4 and 5 as part of the Canadian Triple Crown broadcast, sponsored by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.


CENTURY MILE:  SIR BRONX won the $52,300 Don Getty Handicap at 1 1/8 miles for older horses. The Florida bred by Bellamy Road – Tiz de Mayo by Tiznow defeated Shimshine by a length. Almac Racing Stable owns the 6-year-old and Rick Hedge trains. Rigo Samiento rode the winner.

DAZ LIN DAWN ended a lengthy winless streak with a front running romp in the Red Smith Handicap worth $52,300. The BC bred by Popular – Summer Bay by Meadowlake was ridden by Dane Nelson for Ed Welsh and Deltin Stable. The breeders were John and Jacqui Shone and Samantha Shead.
Nancy Betts trains.

MARQUIS DOWNS; The Saskatchewan Lotteries Stakes, $6,500, was won by SILENT RHYTHM, by Silent Name (Jpn) – Rhythm Gal by Vindication. The 3-year-old colt was bred by  Dr. Brett C. Anderson & Kyle E. Anderson  and is trained by Ray Gardipy  for owner Poitras Racing Stable.

DEEP EXPLORER won the Manitoba Mile at Assiniboia Downs on July 20 for Henry Witt Jr and trainer Jerry Gourneau. The 6-year-old by Eskendereya – Love Runs Deep by Not for Love posted a 79 Beyer Figure for his win in 1:39.40 on a fast main track. Plentiful was second.