Paso Doble set a moderate pace under Eurico Rosa da Silva and then finished with authority to capture Monday’s $125,000 Shepperton Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Mark Fournier for owners Centennial Farms Niagara Inc. and Craig Racing, the eight-year-old son of Bold n’ Flashy successfully defended his title in the 6 1/2-furlong ‘Poly’ sprint.
Last year, also with da Silva in the irons, Paso Doble rallied from fifth to take the Shepperton. On this day, the classy chestnut set easy splits of :23.82 and :46.80 as the heavily favoured Phil’s Dream, Canada’s reigning champion sprinter, stalked from second position.
Phil’s Dream was urged into contention through the turn but Paso Doble found another gear and galloped out a 3 1/4-length winner in a final running time of 1:16.58. San Nicola Thunder rallied to be second, 1 1/2-lengths clear of Phil’s Dream who won a three-horse show photo by a nose over Th Original Scotty and Sniper
“He’s a nice horse and tries very hard,” said da Silva. “In the beginning (of the race), he was moving very easy and he never lost focus. He ran very strong.”
The victory marked the third career stakes win for Paso Doble who also sprinted to victory in the 2013 edition of the New Providence Stakes.
Paso Doble, bred in Kentucky by Fred Pace, banked $75,000 in victory while improving his career record to 11-11-8 from 44 starts.
He returned $13.60 and $6.40, pairing with San Nicola Thunder ($13.40) for a $129.80 (2-4) exactor. A 2-4-5 (Phil’s Dream) triactor was worth $295.70. Show wagering was not offered.