Stunning Stag, a son of Running Stag, earned his first turf win and the 11th triumph of his career, in taking Holiday Monday’s $100,000 Ontario Jockey Club Stakes, at Woodbine.
The eight-year-old gelding, owned by Janice Attard and trained by Sid Attard, found a seam along the rail over a ‘firm’ E.P. Taylor Turf Course stretch, charging by his rivals late, to secure the victory in his 34th career start, in his fifth attempt on grass.
Sitting third after an opening quarter-mile in :23.20 and fourth after a half in :45.77, a patient Gerry Olguin had the Ontario-bred ready to roll in early stretch.
After striking front, Stunning Stag held off a determined Artic Fern, who led by a half-length at the stretch call, by that same margin. Arrow’s Conquest was third.
It was the first win for Stunning Stag since a triumph in last year’s Grade 3 Vigil Stakes at the Toronto oval. He began this year with a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes on May 26 followed by a fourth in a one-mile turf race on June 16.
The final time for seven furlongs was 1:20.96.
“You love to ride a horse like him,” said Olguin. “He’ll take you wherever you want to go. I didn’t want to be on the front, so I waited as long as I could.”
Last year, Stunning Stag, who is just over $10,000 away from reaching $1-million in lifetime earnings, posted one win, one second and three thirds from five starts.
“He’s been a nice horse to us,” said Sid Attard. “We love him.”
Stunning Stag paid $7.80, $3.50, $2.70, combining with Artic Fern ($3.90, $3.20) for a $29.30 exactor. Arrow’s Conquest ($3.90) completed a $156.80 triactor.