Pender Harbour, who captured the Prince of Wales and Breeders’ Stakes last year en route to being named Canada’s champion three-year-old male, was an impressive winner of Sunday’s $125,000 Steady Growth Stakes, at Woodbine.
With the $75,000 first-place pot, Pender Harbour pushed his career earnings over the $1-million mark.
Ridden by Luis Contreras for trainer Mike De Paulo, Pender Harbour sat just off the early pace of Good Better Best in the mile and one-sixteenth Ontario Sire stake, progressed quickly through the turn along the rail, and won a stretch-long battle with the stubborn pacesetter, by two lengths.
The chestnut stopped the clock in 1:44.62. Guipago arrived late for show, four-lengths in arrears of Good Better Best.
Pender Harbour won three of his eight starts last year and closed off his three-year-old campaign with a solid second-place effort in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes. The gelding opened up his four-year-old season with a flat performance in the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes, but was full of energy on this day.
Pender Harbour paid $4.10, $2.60 and $2.30, combining with Good Better Best ($2.90, $2.70) for a $9.10 (1-7) exactor. A 1-7-2 (Guipago, $2.50 to show) triactor was worth $55.90. A 1-7-2-5 superfecta (Sky of Grey) paid $203.50.