Silent Poet, favoured at 7-5, came through loud and clear when scoring by a measured length in Sunday’s $100,000 Vice Regent Stakes for Ontario-sired three-year-olds at Woodbine.
Ridden by Gary Boulanger and conditioned by Nick Gonzalez, Silent Poet turned back a couple of challenges in the stretch run to prevail in the good time of 1:33.74 for the one-mile turf race, which attracted a field of seven.
“He’s a really neat little horse,” said Gary Boulanger, who was recording his 11th stakes win of the meeting aboard the Adena Springs homebred. “He kind of does whatever I ask him to do. He responds when I ask him. He kind of gets out front and he spurts then he’ll wait, he’ll spurt then he’ll wait. He’s a nice, fun horse to ride. Nick’s done a tremendous job with him, it’s a pleasure to ride him.”
Be Vewy Vewy Quiet was first to show in the Vice Regent but dropped back to third as Silver Sheriff got the opening quarter of :23.63 and the half in :46.88 while shadowed by Silent Poet.
As Silver Sheriff backed off, Silent Poet had to repel a challenge from Eskiminzin as the three-quarters went by in 1:10.58.
Royal Laser, who had raced on the inside throughout as the 5-2 second choice, then made his bid but came up short while finishing a clear second.
Carmenootz, who raced behind horses early, swung out widest for the stretch run and finished well to be third, 1 ½ lengths behind the runner-up.
Be Vewy Vewy Quiet finished evenly to end another 1 ¼ lengths back in fourth with Timeskip just a neck in arrears.
Eskiminzin, winner of the restricted Bold Ruckus at six furlongs to be the only previous turf stakes winner in the field, made a bold four-wide move turning for home but flattened out to finish sixth as the 3.65-1 third choice.
Silver Sheriff weakened to trail the field.
Silent Poet was recording his third turf win. His only unplaced effort in seven career starts was a 12th-place finish in the Queen’s Plate, which was just his fourth career outing and his first beyond seven furlongs.
“We got a little aggressive when we tried the Queen’s Plate, but it didn’t hurt him one little bit and the horse is simple, easy to train,” said Gonzalez. “He just did what he had to do today.”
Silent Poet paid $4.90, $2.70 and $2.40. He combined with 5-2 second choice Royal Laser ($3.10, $2.50) for an exacta worth $11.10. With Carmenootz ($5.30) third, the trifecta paid $37.55 for a $1 ticket while the superfecta was worth $135 with Be Vewy Vewy Quiet rounding out the top four finishers.
Last year’s Vice Regent was won by Mr Havercamp, the locally-based horse who finished a heroic second in Saturday’s Ricoh Woodbine Mile.