AVIE’S MESA zooming up the Queen’s Plate list


AVIE’S MESA on Saturday as captured by Mr Will Wong

A strong run by the 3-year-old dark bay Avie’s Mesa against older horses on Saturday puts the Ivan Dalos homebred right near the top of Queen’s Plate contenders.

The son of Sky Mesa from the Empre Maker mare Avie’s Empire was making his Tapeta debut in this 4th start since leaving Woodbine last October when 4th in the Cup and Saucer. He has been racing well on the grass but had a effort effort in this race that went in 1:43.86. The winner, GIGANTIC BREEZE, is a 4yo who won his last race, his season debut, and he set a slow pace int his race while ‘Mesa stalked from between rivals.

He had to be scrubbed a long to make his move on the turn and then he quickly joined the older rival before that one pulled away again.

The winner ran an 89 Beyer, Avie’s Mesa, an 85.  It was the second race in succession that the colt has made the lead and hung and he only recently added blinkers.

Josie Carroll trains Avie’s Mesa, who certainly is a leader among Plate horses.

Meanwhile, Gigantic Breeze, owned and bred by Stan Dodson, was ridden well by Gary Boulanger and the gelding is trained by Alex McPherson.

The day’s feature race, the Queenston Stakes, has been known to produce a Plate starter here and there but this year’s race was a sprinter’s feast and when YORKTON got away on an easy lead going a full second slower for the first 1/4 than he did last time, the race was over.

The CHiefswood Stables bay colt by Speightstown, cruised to a fast win in 1:22.1/5 – good for a 93 Beyer Figure.

Stuart Simon trains Yorkton, who won 2nd time out as a 2yo but then had a messy series of races on turf and dirt.

Simon was pleased to see Yorkton thrive after the pair of tough efforts in Florida that kicked off his three-year-old campaign.

“He bled a little on us in his first start (a sixth at 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt on February 12 at Gulfstream) and his second race (seventh at 7 ½ furlongs on the grass on March 11) wasn’t that bad when you look at a couple of factors that went into the race,” he said. “I don’t know if the other part is that he really likes the synthetic. He just didn’t have things go 100 per cent for him down there. We regrouped with him and thought we should get him back to where he had his success.”

Lokinforpursemonee was too far back and too late with his rally and he missed 2nd place  to Sailing Home.

Mmore Saturday –

race 1 a $10,000 claiming race for fillies and mares was a 5 horse field but 4 of them lined up essentially around the first turn and into the backstretch. Sitting on the rail close up was STRUTTIN MY STUFF, making her first start of the year for owner Gal Lunan and trainer Zeljko Krcmar. The 5yo by Stur the Stage  was taking a big edge dropping in for $10,000 claiming.

great ride by Rafael Zenteno Jr. who was winning his first race at Woodbine. Zenteno rode at Northlands Park last year and he has 122 career wins.

Race 2 – GENEROUS CONSORT is 2 for 2 this year for Dale Desruisseuax and Solo Racing Ltd. as she rode the rail from just off the pace and was up for a win in this $32,00 claiming race. This is a wonderful mare by Philanthropist who has 6 wins in 35 races and earnings of over $255,000. She was claimed last November for $16,00 from breeder Ron House. Luis Contreras rode.

Race 3- exact same winning style as GENEROUS CONSORT – PENNY STAMP won for the 2nd time this year with a rail run under Omar Moreno. The Saffir 6-year-old has won 6 races from 29 starts for Laurie Silvera. This was a $12,500 claiming race.

Race 4- SCHLOSS SCHNEEBERG, yep that is his name, was off the pace in this 5 1/2 furlong maiden race for $8,000 and that worked out well for him in this, his 11th career race. The lean dark bay by Sligo Bay split horses from the 2 path and rallied to outbattle Never Worn to win for trainer Robert Gerl.

Juan Crawford rode a nice race.

Race 5- a $30,000 claiming race for older horses featured the Canadian debut of IKERRIN ROAD, an Irish bred coming in for Robert Masterson (Tepin owner). This gelding was stakes placed and 2 for 3 on the synthetic and he went off at a nice 5 to 2, got a perfect trip under Jerome Lermyte and strolled to a big win with a 79 Beyer Figure.

The son of Iffraaj was brought in by Mark Casse and then claimed from this race by Alpine Stable and Vito Armata.

Race 6- Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman, who have built up one of the biggest stables at Woodbine, won their first race of the season as ENCHANTED took advantage of a close, inside stalking trip and won her maiden  in this $34,000 optional claiming race. The daughter of Philanthropist was bred by Minshall Farms and this was her season debut and 11th career start. Luis Contreras rode and Kevin Attard trains.

Race 9 – MAJESTIC SLEW became yet another guy who is a 2 time winner this year and he won this $60K claiming race off a first level allowance win. His win was strong as he posted a new top Beyer Figure of 83 for owner Frank Russo This 4yo tracked speedy Nashville Knight and the pair opened up half a dozen lengths on the others. Majestic Slew took over and went on to win in 1:09.93 under Jesse Campbell.

Race 10 – A lot of early buzz about beginner Hurricane Bear but this attractive Get Stormy colt was distracted and very green pre-race as he froze and was not having a fun time with the track ponies early on. The colt had to but coaxed and prodded to get to the starting gate area and by then, his odds were staying a bit cool at 5/2.

He raced evenly in mid pack and got a good learning experience while 20 to 1 shot NAPAYSHNI. a Caleb’s Posse new gelding, stalked the pace and went on to an upset win for Robert Rowe and trainer Dan Vella. Jesse Campbell rode, continuing his riding tear.