Paso Doble took command down the backstretch and sprinted home a narrow winner in Saturday’s co-featured $125,800 Overskate Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Mark Fournier for Centennial Farms Niagara Inc. and Craig Racing, the eight-year-old chestnut arrived at the seven furlong ‘Poly’ sprint from a similar front-running score in the 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton Stakes.
Forester’s Destiny was quick off the mark in the Overskate, notching an opening quarter in :23.14 before a rail-rushing Paso Doble took over to lead the 10-horse field, headlined by 2-1 post-time favourite Pender Harbour, through a sharp half-mile in :45.54.
San Nicola Thunder, with Justin Stein up, applied outside pressure on the pacesetter as the field straightened away, while Pender Harbour, diving to the rail for racing room, was urged into motion by Luis Contreras.
However, there was no denying the classy Paso Doble who found the wire first, a head in front of San Nicola Thunder, in turn a head better than Pender Harbour. Paso Doble covered seven furlongs in 1:21.43.
The victory marked the sixth career stakes score for Paso Doble, having previously captured the Shepperton (2011, 2013, 2014) and New Providence (2011, 2013) on multiple occasions.
“He’s a very nice horse,” said da Silva. “He was relaxed from the gate, but he has natural speed and took the lead and got the job done.
“He fought very hard and showed what he can do. He’s on his game right now and he’s a happy horse. He feels like he’s two-years-old.”
Paso Doble banked $75,000 in victory, while improving his record to 12-11-8 from 45 career starts.
He paid $12.50, $6.80 and $3.30, combining with San Nicola Thunder ($10.40, $2.50) for a $122.90 (3-10) exactor. A 3-10-4 (Pender Harbour, $2.50) triactor was worth $391.40, while a $1 Superfecta [3-10-4-6 (Jack Pine)] came back $657.20.