From CANADIAN MILLIONS NIGHT, the 6 stakes races for yearling sales stakes graduates, let’s catch up with the winning Beyer Speed Figures according to Daily Racing Form.
ENGLISH ILLUSION who won the controversial Halton Stakes at ‘about’ 1 1/2 miles on turf earned a 98 Beyer Figure for 2:29.72 just off the course record of 2:29.38.
Crown favorite and Horse of the Year PINK LLOYD did what he needed to do to win the Kenora Stakes on what was a very slow, quirky main track.
He was just up to win in 1:10.75 for a 99 Beyer Figure.
The 2-year-old races were each very different.
BLESSED TWO, by Souper Speedy ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:19.99 for a 41 Beyer Figure.
SPEEDY SOUL won the Muskoka for fillies in 1:18.53 in the next race for a 63 Beyer.
The pair of 1 1/16 mile races werer also run in very different times.
KINGSPORT won the Elgin in 1:47.08 for a 93 Beyer while the mare TRINI BREWNETTE, two races later, won the Algoma in 1:46.27 for a much lower 77 Beyer Figure.
From SATURDAY/FRIDAY –
It has been a big two days for trainer JULIE BELHUMEUR with wins with DEESE NIKE on the grass on Friday for James Perron Racing Stable, Melissa Girard and herself. The Saffir filly was 9 to 1 in the toptinal claiming race on grass and was well ridden by Jeff Alderson.
On Saturday, Belhumeur sent out SOTHATSTHEWAYITIS to win a $61,000 allowance maiden in her first race since December. This was a remarkable victory for the 22 to 1 shot in a six horse field as she out-nodded a Stronach Stables filly to win under Simon Husbands.
The great news is that this was the first win for new owner GLENN B. THOMAS who just ran his first horse, SINE METU, recently in a lef of the Turf Endurance series and was 4th.
It has been nice to see a wide variety of owners, trainers and riders winning recently at Woodbine.
Saturday, Beverly Chubb won race 1 for Horsepower Racing as ATLANTIC CROSSING won his maiden under longtime top Fort Erie rider KIRK JOHNSON.
It was Johson’s birthday too so no doubt he was pumped on the day.
Johnson also won on Canvasback Farms of BC’s ALINAH for trainer Danny O’Callaghan in a maiden allowance. This well bred filly by Smart Strike is out of champion sprinter female Tribal Belle and she was determined to win today despite being checked hard twice in the race.
Multiple winners on Saturday included trainer Jim Enson, Sid Attard and popular apprentice rider Kazushi Kimura.
Emma-Jayne Wilson, also celebrating a birtday, won on CAPE MIST for Greg Cox and owners Lisa McCallum Smith and Cindy Cox.
Racing continues Sunday and Monday.
ONTARIO SIRES STAKES/UNITED WAY DAY AT AJAX DOWNS
Woodbine rider Ismael Monsqueira set to ride
Some of the top Ontario sired Quarter Horses in the province will go for big money on Sunday, Sept. 2 at AJAX DOWNS on RACE FOR THE UNITED WAY Day. In addition to raffle draws, silent auction and family fun to raise money for the United Way, the track has 9 races on a good card.
*Bring a donation of backpack, school supplies or cash and recive a $2 betting voucher!
It is the last Sunday of racing at Ajax Downs which switches to Mondays on Sept. 10.
Race 6 is the $57,200 ONTARIO SIRES STAKES MATURITY for 4-year-olds and upward and previous HORSE OF THE YEAR FIESTY ICON heads a super field of 9.
Fiesty Icon, owned and trained by Rick Kennedy, has chased top older horse COUNTRY BOY 123 (US sired) in 3 of his 4 races this year but was a winner two starts ago over the tough filly GHOST PINES, who has the rail post in this Maturity.
Tony Phillips takes over on Fiesty Icon as rider Chelsey Willick will partner Joe tavares trainee SUGARMANS DELIGHT.
GHOST PINES, trained by Michelle Woodley for Gary McNichol, has won 2 of her 3 races this year and was 2nd beaten a neck in her latest to Fiesty Icon. Sugarmans delight was third that day.
Ghost Pines won last year’s Ontario Sires Derby.
The Derby is race 8 and is worth $67,500 for 3-year-olds, by Ontario sires.
the 350 yard dash is headed but a pair from trainer Scott Reid. FIRING RED JESS was a troubled 2nd the first TRIAL on Aug. 12, won by the filly JUNOIMZOOMIN, owned by Christine Tavares.
Firing red Jess, owned by George Coleman, wil be ridden by Tony Phillips for the first time.
Reid’s 2nd runner is ELEANORR, who starts from post one with Cassandra Jeschke. Eleanorr was 2nd beaten a head in the second TRIAL, which was won by Stepahnie Keeble’s SMOAKUN GUN, the morning line favourite.
Making his Ajax Downs debut on Sunday is jockey ISMAEL MOSQUEIRA who has won 16 races this year and has been riding at Woodbine.
The ‘Mosquito’ won a Quarter Horse race at 870 yards in February at Turf Paradise. He is named on horses trained by Craig Spada who is baed at Fort Erie racetrack.
YOSHIDA WINS WOODWARD
Now Grade 1 winner on turf and dirt this year
Yoshida answered questions about his ability on dirt in definitive fashion, rallying from the outside in the final furlong to surge to a two-length win against a full field of 14 in the 65th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Making his main track debut after 10 previous starts on turf, Yoshida stayed off the early speed as Leofric and Rally Cry dueled up front, with the former leading the field through an opening quarter-mile in 24 seconds and the latter gaining the edge for the half-mile in 47.69 in the third of four graded stakes on the 12-race card.
Under Joel Rosario, Yoshida stayed to the inside on the backstretch before being moved out nearing the final turn. In the stretch, Yoshida continued to go wide, surging past Leofric and Rally Cry in the final eighth and outkicking 5-2 Gunnevera, completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.94.
Owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, Heads of Plains Partnes and SF Racing, Yoshida now has won a Grade 1 on both turf and dirt in his 4-year-old campaign, adding to his victory in the Old Forester Turf Classic on May 5 at Churchill Downs.
“Well, we got our answer. I had a wait and see attitude. The horse had worked well on the dirt. As I said before, he’s got a lot of pedigree for the dirt,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who won the Woodward for the fourth time and first since To Honor and Serve in 2012. “This was a pretty impressive run, actually. I don’t think you ever really know how they’ll run on a surface until you try them. [Winstar’s] Elliot Walden has been wanting to try it for a long time. We talked about it and Yoshida has been running so well on the turf and he’s a Grade 1 winner on the turf ,so you can’t say we made a mistake by not running him on the dirt. We were going to do it. [It] was just a matter of at the opportune time and right now there was no turf race that we had in mind in the next 30 days, so we thought, ‘let’s do it.'”
The well-traveled Japanese-bred son of Heart’s Cry rebounded from two off the board finishes, including a fifth-place effort in the Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap on August 11 at the Spa in his first effort since running fifth in the Group 1 Queen Anne on June 19 at Royal Ascot.
Off at 6-1, Yoshida paid $14.40 on a $2 win wager. He earned millionaire status with the victory, improving his career bankroll to $1,289,700.
“He went very nice,” said Rosario, who won three graded stakes in a row after piloting Raging Bull in the Grade 3 Saranac in Race 9 and Sippican Harbor in the Grade 1 Spinaway in Race 10. “I was just a passenger. He was taking very nice to the dirt, and he liked it early on. Turning for home, he was there for me, and he kept going. Like I said, I was just a passenger. All my thanks to Bill Mott, I’m glad I won the race for him, and that he gave me the opportunity. This is a nice horse.”
Gunnevera, trained by Antonio Sano, hit the wire a nose in front of Leofric for second, marking the first time he finished on the board in a stakes since running third in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup on January 27 at Gulfstream Park.
Sano claimed foul against Yoshida for alleged interference in the stretch, but the claim was dismissed by the stewards.
“My horse ran good but, if you look, in the last turn, that horse [Yoshida] bumped us and pushed us wide – 10 wide – and it was just impossible to win [from there]. It was a good race, but that [made the difference],” Sano said.
The Brad Cox-trained Leofric, off at 19-1, finished in the top three for the ninth consecutive race.