Trained by Barb Minshall, Stacked Deck entered his 2015 campaign with one stakes win, a nose score in the 2014 edition of the Charlie Barley Stakes, to his credit.
Sent to post at odds of 20-1 in his 2015 debut, the $132,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes, Stacked Deck finished last of 10, well back of defending sprint champion Calgary Cat.
Stacked Deck returned a few short weeks later in a seven furlong optional claiming sprint and defeated Queen’s Plate hero Midnight Aria by 3 ¾-lengths at odds of 11-1. He earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for his winning effort. At the time, it was his biggest number yet.
Buoyed by the result, Minshall sent Stacked Deck to the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes, a grassy one-turn mile, and the dark bay set a swift tempo, marking three-quarters in 1:08 flat, and the gelding stayed on strong down the lengthy stretch run of the E.P. Taylor Turf Course for third money, less than three lengths in arrears of champion older male Tower of Texas.
Stacked Deck would go on to win three of his next six starts including victories in the Grade 3 Bold Venture and Grade 2 Kennedy Road that would stamp his authority as the nation’s leading sprinter.
The Bold Venture was a particularly poignant win as Stacked Deck put away the early challenge of Essence Hit Man, twice named Canada’s champion sprinter, before staving off the charge of the defending champion sprinter, Calgary Cat, for a narrow neck score.
Stacked Deck completed his season with a career-best performance in the Kennedy Road when best of 11.
The race had set up as a showdown between Stacked Deck and Calgary Cat for Sovereign Award honours, but the showdown never materialized.
Sent to post as the 5-2 second choice, Stacked Deck settled into third position behind the early speed of Rexton and Paso Doble. Following a wicked half of :43.97, Luis Contreras pressed the button and Stacked Deck closed five-wide at the top of the lane en route to a widening 2 ¾-lengths score over Passion for Action. He stopped the clock in 1:08.34 earning a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure.
“The last race (the Kennedy Road) was pretty special,” said Minshall. “He ran such a big number there. He’s just getting better all the time.”
Bred in Kentucky by his owner, Stacked Deck is out of Lunsford’s multiple graded stakes winning mare Bel Air Beauty. Stacked Deck completed his campaign with four wins from nine starts, while banking just shy of $340,000.