Wednesday night’s Yearling Sales Stakes program at Woodbine was highlighted by a pair of wins for jockeys David Moran and Luis Contreras on an evening showcasing Canadian-breds purchased at previous Canadian Premier Yearling Sales.
Moran’s double included an impressive 2 1/2-length score by Phil’s Cocktail in the $201,200 OLG Simcoe Stakes as well as a rallying score in the $125,000 OLG Algoma Stakes with I’m a Kittyhawk.
Both of Moran’s wins keyed big payouts as Phil’s Cocktail ($18.20) topped a $6,628.05 superfecta, while I’m a Kittyhawk ($15.80) led a $154.20 triactor.
Contreras started the six-pack of stakes by guiding favoured Hampstead Heath ($6.10) to a 1 1/4-length score in the $125,000 OLG Halton Stakes and also guided champion Pender Harbour ($2.80) to a second victory in the $125,000 OLG Elgin Stakes.
Jockeys joining Moran and Contreras as stakes winners were Emma-Jayne Wilson with Brooklynsway in the $200,000 OLG Muskoka Stakes, and Justin Stein, who guided Black Hornet to a swift score in the $125,000 Kenora Stakes.
Six different trainers notched stakes victories on the card: Brian Lynch (Hampstead Heath, Halton), Mike DePaulo (Pender Harbour, Elgin), Robert Crean (I’m a Kittyhawk, Algoma), John Ross (Brooklynsway, Muskoka), Pat Parente (Black Hornet, Kenora) and John LeBlanc Jr. (Phil’s Cocktail, Simcoe).
The following are recaps of the day’s stakes events:
Hampstead Heath prevails in Halton
Favoured Hampstead Heath, trained by Brian Lynch for owner Robert Smithen, with Luis Contreras up, swung out late in the lane to collar pacesetter Blessed One and take the $125,000 OLG Halton Stakes, presented by Tipperary Equestrian.
Blessed One, the only filly in the field of eight, cut out all the fractions, taking her rivals through an opening quarter in :23.65 and the half in :46.48 . Turning for home over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, Courtville came to challenge on the outside as the six panels were reached in 1:09.91, while Hampstead had now moved into third behind the leaders.
Contreras then swung out the favourite who hauled down the leader and crossed the wire in 1:33.88 over a very firm turf. Blessed One held second while Courtville was third.
Hampstead Heath, who picked up $75,000 for the win, his fourth in 18 lifetime starts, to push his career bankroll to over $400,000, paid $6.10, $3.50 and $2.80, combining with Blessed One ($6, $4) for a $42.60 (4-8) exactor. A 4-8-9 (Courtville, $3.10) triactor was worth $164.10 while a $1 Superfecta [4-8-9-3 (Eminent Force)] was worth $396.55.
Pender Harbour impresses in Elgin
Pender Harbour, a graduate of the 2009 Yearling Sale, overcame traffic trouble to capture Wednesday night’s $125,000 OLG Elgin Stakes, presented by Bear Stables, at Woodbine.
Trained by Mike DePaulo, the classy six-year-old gelding, was urged off the rail by Luis Contreras through the turn and wore down the pacesetting Power Phil en route to a one-length score. Power Phil stayed on for place over Freitag. Pender Harbour covered 1 1/16-miles in 1:44.82.
“They were crawling up front and we were in a little bit of trouble, but Luis got him moving and old Pender came through,” said DePaulo.
He paid $2.80 and $2.30, combining with Spin the King ($5.30) for a $14.80 (2-3) exactor. A 2-3-5 (Freitag) triactor was worth $33.10. Show wagering was not offered.
I’m a Kittyhawk claws way to Algoma win
I’m a Kittyhawk, ridden by David Moran, ran down pacesetter Skylander Girl near the wire to capture the $125,000 OLG Algoma Stakes, presented by Adena Springs Canada.
I’m a Kittyhawk settled at the back until being moved up on the inside by Moran as the field rounded the far turn and straightened for home. Skylander Girl then opened a length on her challengers after Aragorn Ami had faded, but could not hold off the late charge by I’m a Kittyhawk, who scored by one length. Sweater Weather rallied for third, a neck behind Skylander Girl, while Aragorn Ami was fourth. The final time was 1:44.19.
“What I was hoping for was the speed that we got today. That was a big plus for us when I saw how fast they were going. I said this is good for us because we know our filly will close,” said Crean.
I’m a Kittyhawk earned $75,000 for her fourth career win in only 13 starts as she’s now banked more than $250,000. As the fourth choice on the toteboard, I’m a Kittyhawk returned $15.80, $6.90 and $3.10, teaming with Skylander Girl ($5.10, $2.60) for a $77.60 (5-1) exactor. A 5-1-2 (Sweater Weather, $2.20) triactor paid $154.20.
Brooklynsway finds winning path in Muskoka
Brooklynsway, owned and trained by John Ross, broke her maiden in style with a thrilling stretch run to capture the $200,800 OLG Muskoka Stakes, presented by Equilottery.
Eff Bee Eye, sent to post as the 6-5 mutuel favourite, set splits of :23.04 and :46.11 in the Muskoka with Mel’s Ring tracking her early foot from the rail. Quidi Vidi, stalking from third position, battled her way into contention through the turn setting up what appeared to be a two-horse stretch duel.
However, Brooklynsway, with Emma-Jayne Wilson up, kicked into gear deep in the stretch run angling to the rail to find a winning path, 1 1/4-lengths in front of Quidi Vidi. Brooklynsway covered 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:17.73.
The veteran conditioner admitted to having high hopes for Brooklynsway going forward.
“I may have been biting off a little more than I should have with her, but she was doing so well,” said Ross of her early stakes efforts. “She’s stakes placed twice and now she’s a stakes winner. Hopefully she’s on the same path as Lexie Lou.”
Brooklynsway, bred in Ontario by HJT Racing Stable, banked $120,000 in victory, while improving her career record to 1-0-2 from three starts.
She paid $14.20 $5.50 and $3.20, combining with Quidi Vidi ($4.40, $2.60) for a $74.10 (2-8) exactor. A 2-8-6 (Eff Bee Eye, $2.20) triactor was worth $27.82. A $1 superfecta (2-8-6-4, Show Shape) returned $158.28. Still Single was scratched.
Black Hornet buzzes to Kenora win
Black Hornet, with Justin Stein aboard, blazed his way to a front-running score in the six furlong, $125,000 OLG Kenora Stakes, presented by HBPA of Ontario.
After an opening quarter of 21.72, Black Hornet, trained by Pat Parente, turned up the heat even moreso, getting to the half in 43.73, while being chased by the slight favourite and defending Kenora champion, Bear No Joke.
Turning for home, the four-year-old son of Pioneering- Start Stinging was four lengths in front and coasted to the wire in 1:08.78, just three-fifths of a second off the Polytrack record while beating Bear No Joke by three and one-half lengths. Langstaff closed strongly for third, just a nose behind the runner-up.
“I don’t know what it was,” recalled Parente, about selecting Black Hornet at the yearling sale in 2011 for only $4,500. “Something just caught my eye and we just took a chance on him. He’s been sick all spring (this year). I’ve been fighting sickness with him and I finally got him right.”
As the 2-1 second choice, Black Hornet paid $6.20, $2.90 and $2.90, combining with Bear No Joke ($2.50, $2.60) for a $14 (2-1) exactor. A 2-1-8 (Langstaff, $3.60) triactor returned $59.10 while a $1 Superfecta [2-1-8-4 (Forester’s Destiny)] was worth $119.75.
Phil’s Cocktail triumphs in Simcoe
Phil’s Cocktail won a pace battle and kept on going to capture the $200,000 OLG Simcoe Stakes, presented by Samuel, Son & Co.
Trained by John LeBlanc, Phil’s Cocktail put in a stirring performance in the Simcoe, a 6 1/2-furlong ‘Poly’ sprint.
Ethical Funds broke sharply and set an opening quarter in :22.58 before being joined, on the outside, by Super Colerosa and a rail-skimming Phil’s Cocktail to his inside who came on to mark the half-mile in :45.06.
Ever determined, Phil’s Cocktail, with David Moran up, put away his fellow pacesetters at the top of the lane and scooted home a 2 1/2-length winner in a final running time of 1:16.78. Entwhistle rallied for place money, a neck in front of Ethical Funds.
Phil’s Cocktail, second on debut, broke his maiden impressively last time out by a length over Entwhistle in a six furlong maiden allowance.
“He’s been training great all year long and going through the paces very professionally,” said LeBlanc.
Phil’s Cocktail, bred in Ontario by his owner Ron Clarkson, banked $120,000 in victory, while improving his career record to 2-1-0 from three starts.
He returned $18.20, $7.10 and $4.90, teaming with Entwhistle ($5.70, $4.70) for a $98.10 (1-8) exactor. A 1-8-9 (Ethical Funds, $8.80) triactor paid $924.40. A $1 superfecta (1-8-9-5, Ninth Symphony) paid $6628.05. Chiricahua Signal was scratched.
Live racing continues Friday at Woodbine. First post is 1 p.m.