Woodbine fans got a huge treat this past weekend as 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner MODERN GAMES made his way to our world-famous E.P. Taylor turf course to take the $1-million Grade I Woodbine Mile in a romp. The Dubawi colt owned by Godolphin and trained by Charles Appleby, was guided to a 5 1/4-length win under world-travelling jockey William Buick in a speedy time of 1:32.77, as the prohibitive race favourite. With everything going according to plan, he should be at Keeneland in November for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Second and third respectively were second-choice IVAR, and FINEST SOUND. Wagering on the race card totalled a healthy $11.7 million, even with one race cancelled end of day due to unforseen circumstances.
The latter part of the card on Saturday was crammed with stakes action, as part of Woodbine‘s involvement with the Breeders’ Cup Win-and-You’re In program. Winners from the three marquee Grade I races, the Woodbine Mile, Summer and Natalma Stakes each earn a berth in the Breeders’ Cup, Horse Racing’s championship days of racing slated for November 4th and 5th.
The combination of Godolphin x Appleby x Buick nabbed Grade I glory earlier on the card in the $500k Summer Stakes with two-year-old Irish-bred Dark Angel colt, MYSTERIOUS NIGHT. Like his stablemate, he scored by just over five lengths, and is pointed next to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, the same race MODERN GAMES had won last year.
LAST CALL broke her maiden in style at 21-1 odds, winning the Grade I Natalma Stakes, also valued at $500k. The English Channel filly owned by X-Men Racing 2 LLC and SF Racing LLC, is trained by Kevin Attard, winning with a late sweep to score by a length.
Famed Canadian Geologist Charles Fipke made a rare appearance at Woodbine this weekend and did he ever pick the right weekend to come! He, Trainer Roger Attfield and Emma-Jayne Wilson proved an amazing combo taking a pair of Grade III stakes with LADY SPEIGHTSPEARE in the Seaway Stakes, and READY FOR THE LADY in the Singspiel Stakes on the Sunday card. The former is a perfect three-for-three at Woodbine this season and actually took the Natalma Stakes two years back, and continues to be incredibly consistent.
A couple other notable moments:
Upcoming major races at Woodbine include the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes on October 2nd and also the Grade I E.P. Taylor Stakes October 8th.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
Although there wasn’t a Triple Crown winner north of the Border this year, we still had plenty to cheer for at Woodbine Racetrack yesterday. The $500k Breeders’ Stakes, the final leg of the Crown was contested over 1 1/2 miles on the Toronto oval’s internationally- renowned turf course and few could argue that the winner was deserving.
DANISH DYNAFORMER has been a warrior throughout his three-year-old campaign this year and once he got to the lead at the top of the stretch, there was no turning back as he blasted home almost eight horse lengths ahead of the field. Reigning champion jockey Patrick Husbands who quickly has turned his season around these past few weeks, steered the colt trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, to the eye-popping victory. Fans were rewarded with a return of $4.80 on a $2 investment as the race favourite, and the final time for the race was 2:29.2, about four seconds off the course record. Conquest Boogaloo who also has been a trooper through the Triple Crown trail, rallied late to finish second and a rapidly-improving Lucky Lindy finished a game third.
Despite blistering heat, fans still came out to show their support, crowding the grandstand. Post-victory, Team Attfield were armed with ice buckets and the hose water cooled to a perfect temperature to cool down their star, DANISH DYNAFORMER. The Ontario-bred colt earlier this season won the Plate Trial, stamping him the favourite for the country’s most prestigious race, Queen’s Plate in which he finished second narrowly. A trip to Fort Erie in late July for the Prince of Wales Stakes was a rare blemish on his record and his performance in the Breeders’ Stakes would be an accurate indication of his great ability. Keep a tab on this one – if not next season – he will be one look out for in the Pattison International, another marquee race at Woodbine, held traditionally mid-October.
Earlier on the card we saw longshot INTERPOL upset the $200k Sky Classic Stakes, defeating a talented field including division leader ARE YOU KIDDING ME (also trained by Roger Attfield), GOLDEN SABRE, ALDOUS SNOW and last year’s Belmont Derby winner, MR. SPEAKER. Emma-Jayne Wilson piloted the win, a second stake win this weekend for the jockey who just led the Ladies’ Team to a valiant, first-of-its-kind win at Ascot in England a week prior in the Shergar Cup. Just Saturday, Wilson piloted New Zealand-bred HABIBI to win the Flaming Page Stakes, also on the lush turf course.
Some Snaps of DANISH DYNAFORMER:
Lunch at @woodbineracing with one of my fave Willionaire$ @cupcakedawnie #BreedersStakes day! She made me yummy Cupcakes!! #OfftotheRaces #BetWoodbine A photo posted by Mr. Will Wong (@mrwillwong) on
We’re majorly excited for two-time North American Horse of the Year WISE DAN‘s return to Woodbine next month in the $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile on Sunday, September 13, 2015. We hope to see you there!
For more, including how to plan your visit, click here.
This Post was created in partnership with Woodbine Racetrack.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Woodbine Racetrack)
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