HAPPY SUNDAY – it will be warm and windy in Toronto today, the big race is the CORONATION FUTURITY, the top 2yo race of the year worth $250,000. AMI’S HOLIDAY is the unbeaten favourite, let’s hope we get the races in, there is a wind warning currently.
Canadian invader River Seven, racing for the first time south of his home country’s border, wore down Frac Daddy near the finish under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan to score a half-length victory over 11 rivals in the 10th running of the $115,400 Commonwealth Turf (Grade III) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the grass Saturday night at Churchill Downs.
Based at Toronto’s Woodbine Race Course, the favored Riven Seven sat behind a slow pace fourth, angled out in the stretch and gradually wore down the front-runners to win and paid $7.40, $4.60 and $3.40. Frac Daddy broke sharply from an outside post, dueled for the early lead and gave way late under Alan Garcia and paid $5 and $3.80. Kaigan, another Canada-based runner ridden by Leandro Goncalves, closed late to finish third and returned $11.40 to show.
Owned by the Tucci Stable of Lou and Carlo Tucci and trained by Nick Gonzalez, River Seven covered the 1 1/16-mile distance on good turf in 1:44.11. The victory by the Ontario-bred son of Johannesburg was his second consecutive stakes triumph and improved his record to 12-3-5-1 and jumped his career earnings to $561,926.
“I thought he’d be second (early), but I looked outside and there were a couple of more speed horses than I anticipated, so I took ahold of him,” Bridgmohan said. “I was just biding my time with him and when we came around the turn in just kind of unfolded in front of us. The horse in front of me kicked on a little bit and made some room and he just finished really well.”
Ruler of Love and Frac Daddy were quickest from the starting gate, but slowed the pace around the first turn and led the field through slow early fractions of :23.90 for the quarter, :49.39 for the half-mile and 1:14.09 for six furlongs. Brighmohan tracked the leaders on River Seven to the head of the stretch, swung out when Frac Daddy quickened and surged to the lead. River Seven gained slowly on the outside of Frac Daddy, caught him inside the final sixteenth of a mile and gradually drew clear. Kaigun, who rallied from eighth, and Moro Tap, who closed from 10th, rallied late but could not threaten the top pair.
Winning Cause finished fifth, and was followed by Dorsett, Braveman, Golden Sabre, Ruler of Love, O’Prado Ole, Layton Register and Formidable Heart.
Golden Sabre, the second betting choice, started poorly and was never a serious factor.
Roger Fortier’s homebred COACHELLA VALLEY scored an upset in the Jammed Lovely Stakes at Woodbine, getting through some traffic on the rail under super-jock Emma-Jayne Wilson. The grey daughter of Even the Score – Yamuna by Forty Niner was raised and sold by Bonnie Rowntree’s WILLOW RIDGE FARM.
The track was dramatically different yesterday that is had been in previous days as speed held better and the inside was good.
No matter what the weather or track, however, the bettors are loving the big fields at Woodbine – $4.3 million bet yesterday?!! Wow!