SONGBIRD is 11 for 11 in her career after galloping to victory int he Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx yesterday. It was an easy win for the 3-year-old filly by Medaglia D’Oro and should set her up nicely for the biggest test of her career – the meeting with BEHOLDER in the Breeders’ Cup in November.
MIKE DEPAULO STABLE WINS 2 GRADED STAKES RACES in 30 minutes
Trainer Mike DePaulo, surrounded by a super team at his barn including wife Josie DePaulo, was at Parx Racetrack yesterday to saddle Danny Dion’s Noholdingback Bear in the Grade 3 Gallant Bob (see below). In Toronto, Robert Marzilli’s Caren, a Sovereign finalist last year as a 2yo, was going against open company in the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen, one of her boggest tests to date.
The barn won both races and likely wrapped up 2 Sovereign Awards (at least) just for those wins.
CAREN (career best 86 Beyer Figure) was probably more impressive on Saturday than she has been all season simply because she was cutting back from 10 furlongs on turf to 1 mile and meeting open company. The Society’s Chairman – Jo Zak by Vilzak filly, bred by James, Janeane and Arika Everatt-Meeuse, was, according to jockey Jesse Campbell, was aggressive on the pace along the inside and she battled another recent stakes winner, Cally Rhy Rhy. Caren got clear on the turn and then held off a strong rush by Shake Down Baby to win by a nose in 1:35.26.
Caren has won about $74,000 from 8 wins in 13 races.
The win was the 3rd straight for her this year(Bison City and Wonder Where) and she likely wrapped up Champion 3-year-old filly for 2016 (barring any other big races by a local gal).
Meanwhile, the ‘other’ DePaulo stakes runner on Saturday, stakes his claim for Champion Sprinter:
BEAR ATTACK – on to Breeders’ Cup for Canadian-owned/trained colt
Despite some early traffic trouble there was no denying a determined Noholdingback Bear in Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes, the first of three graded stakes on Pennsylvania Derby–Cotillion Day at Parx Racing.
Cutting back from a gritty third in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes, Noholdingback Bear was chasing Navy Hymn and Awesome Speed from close range when he was shuffled back slightly from between horses into the turn.
Noholdingback Bear ($8.20) recovered quickly under confident handling from Eurico Rosa Da Silva and swung four wide into the stretch to set sail for the leaders. He struck the front a furlong from home and edged clear under a mild drive as the slight favorite, reporting home by 1 ¼ lengths over late-running Mind Your Biscuits, winner of the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
It was another half-length back to Threefiveindia, the virtual co-favorite at 3.10 to 1, who stumbled at the start but got the show spot over Awesome Speed and Navy Hymn, who faded to fourth and fifth in the field of 11 sophomore sprinters.
Da Silva was greeted in the winner’s circle with a huge bear hug from owner Danny Dion, who – fittingly enough – campaigns Noholdingback Bear under the nom de course Bear Stables.
“I got squeezed just a little bit, the horse outside me came in and closed the door,” said Da Silva. “But it worked out well because my horse is very relaxed and an easy horse to ride. I just waited for the stretch and had a lot of horse all the way. He recovered very nicely, he did everything very professional. Last time, seven-eighths was not his distance, but at three-quarters I can press any horse with him.”
After tracking Navy Hymn’s quick pace of 22.14 and 45.29, Noholdingback Bear completed six furlongs in 1:09.61 seconds to notch his first dirt win after four previous tallies on synthetic surfaces for trainer Michael De Paulo, including stakes scores at Presque Isle Downs and his base at Woodbine in Toronto, Canada.
“He broke pretty good and they ran away from him a little early, and Eurico sat off the pace, went a little wide and ran them down,” said De Paulo. “In the King’s Bishop, seven-eighths was a little far for him – six, six and a half furlongs is perfect for him. I think right now, he is a better stronger horse. We are looking to going to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint if we can.”
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And during that huge card of racing at Parx, Ontario-bred BEST BARD won an allowance/optional claiming race worth $80,000 at 1 1/8 mile on turf for Richard Lister and trainer Jim Smith.
FOR REAL – ARE YOU KIDDING ME wins Grade 3 Durham Cup
The bay 6-year-old horse ARE YOU KIDDING ME sat a perfect trip and won the 1 1/8 mile Durham Cup on Saturday, his 8th career win from 30 races. His earnings are now about $910,000. Ridden by Alan Garcia for trainer Roger Attfield and the owners/breeders Bates, Riordan et al, Are You Kidding Me was champion older horse in Canada last year and is in a battle with Breaking Lucky and Melich for the title this year This was the 2nd stakes win of the tear for the son of Run Away and Hide as he won the Eclipse (G2) earlier this year.
ANOTHER WIN ON THE WALL FOR PINK LLOYD
Another impressive winner on Saturday at Woodbine was PINK LLOYD, now 3 for 3 in his career after an allowance win with a 92 Beyer Figure. The 4yo gelding only began his career a month ago and the Old Forester fellow has been perfect. Owned by Entourage Stables and trained by Robert Tiller, the John Carey-bred gelding had some trouble in this open allowance race at 7 furlongs as he was not clear on the pace as he had been in his previous 2 races, but he rallied between rivals to win nicely under Luis Contreras.