Favoured Just The Judge, with Jamie Spencer aboard, held off Odeliz in deep stretch to win the $510,000 Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes, part of the Pattison Canadian International card Sunday at Woodbine.
At the finish of the mile and one-quarter turf classic for fillies and mares, Just The Judge proved a half-length to the good, crossing the line in 2:03.47. Deceptive Vision, who had threatened at the top of the stretch when challenging pacesetter Wall of Sound, wound up third, two lengths behind Odeliz. Wall of Sound hung on for fourth.
Trained by Charles Hills for Qatar Racing and Sangster Family, Just The Judge had most recently finished a close third to Euro Charline and Stephanie’s Kitten in the Grade 1 Beverly D at Arlington Park on August 16. Now, with the victory, her travel plans may include a trip to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita for the Filly and Mare Turf on November 1 before returning home. She’s also scheduled to be sold at the end of the year.
It was another huge win for Spencer, who last month piloted Trade Storm to victory in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
“Obviously the race was very unsatisfactory because I had to go to ‘Plan B’ from the start because she kind of jumped awkwardly from the gate,” said Spencer. “You can’t panic then, you have to take a different route. (I) was in amongst horses from probably five (furlongs) out to about the three-(eighths) pole and it was very, very tight where I was. Then she had to make a little bit of room for herself early in the stretch. I was trying to not give her too hard of a race because obviously this is basically a stepping stone to the Breeders’ Cup. So the plan was just to win here and ship on down. She’s won but I’d prefer if it had gone a little bit smoother.”
Wall of Sound made the pace, taking her seven rivals through fractions of :24.51, :50.88 and 1:16.41 over a ‘good’ E.P. Taylor Turf Course. But after the mile was reached in 1:40.57, Deceptive Vision came calling first, Just The Judge was rallying from behind and Odeliz was charging on the outside.
Just The Judge found a seam and passed Deceptive Vision in mid-stretch, then held Odeliz safe to the wire.
It was the first win in five outings this year for the four-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Lawman-Faraday Light. However, last year, she won the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.
With the $300,000 winner’s share, Just The Judge, now with five wins from only 13 starts, pushed her bankroll to almost $930,000.
As the 8-5 choice, Just The Judge paid $5.20, $3.30 and $2.30, combining with Odeliz ($4.20, $2.60) for a $16.50 (3-4) exactor. A 3-4-6 (Deceptive Vision, $2.40) triactor returned $47.80 while a $1 Superfecta [3-4-6-7 (Wall of Sound)] was worth $69.85.