Pender Harbour cements himself as one of the best horses of his generation with an earnest 3/4-length win in Saturday’s $125,800 Steady Growth Stakes at Woodbine.
Luis Contreras, who won three races on the card, rode the seven-year-old to his 12th lifetime win for trainer Mike DePaulo and owners Denny Andrews, Sandra Lazaruk, Bob and Roberta Giffin.
It was his second straight and third overall victory in the Steady Growth.
Keen Gizmo was placed second after Asserting Bear, who crossed the wire second, was disqualified for interfering with Millioninthemaking in late stretch, and placed fourth.
The gelded chestnut son of Philanthropist covered the 1 1/16 miles of Polytrack in 1:43.08.
Well back early through splits of :24.12 and :48.30, Pender Harbour made steady progress midway through the race, while displaying a sharp turn of foot around the turn and a championship heart late.
“He’s just a tough horse; a warrior,” said DePaulo, after the race. “’Pender’ showed up today and everything went great. He did a great job and Luis rode him really well. It was fantastic.”
Pender Harbour was a $15,000 auction purchase at the 2009 Canadian September Yearling Sale and voted a Sovereign Award as Canada’s top three-year-old in 2011. He also won the Steady Growth in 2012.
The Ontario-bred now has career purse earnings of $1,781,210.
Pender Harbour returned $9.10, $4.50 and $3.20, combining with Keen Gizmo ($13.50, $9.40) for a $145.70 (8-3) exactor. A 8-3-5 (Millioninthemaking, $5.10) triactor was worth $1,002.20, while a $1 Superfecta [8-3-5-2 (Asserting Bear)] paid $1,851.40.