TORONTO, December 2, 2017 – Admiralty Pier prevailed in a photo finish over Pipers Warrior after a stretch duel in the $100,000 Display Stakes for two-year-olds on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine.
Jockey Luis Contreras was aboard the budding Barbara Minshall trainee, who earned his first stakes win for owners Bruce Lunsford and Hoolie Racing Stable.
Admiralty Pier raced three-wide early in the first turn and settled towards the back of the nine-horse field before swinging outside turning for home.
Meanwhile, Sable Island established the lead with Thunder Ride pressing to his outside through panels opening fractions of :23.69 and :48.65. Sent From Heaven tracked the front-runners and he came through inside past three-quarters in 1:13.65 to take over command.
However, Admiralty Pier launched his attack with early trailer Pipers Warrior closing to his inside. They pulled ahead down the stretch and dueled to the wire with Admiralty Pier winning in a head decision. The winning time was 1:44.52 over 1-1/16 miles on the Tapeta. Sent From Heaven finished third over race favourite Archaggelos.
“I got a perfect trip all the way. I was just waiting,” said Contreras after the race. “Once I pulled my horse outside, he just gave me everything on the end.”
Bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, the chestnut English Channel-Full Steam Ahead gelding, Admiralty Pier started his career on a winning note in early August over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course and was stakes-placed in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes. He also competed in the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland finishing fourth over a sloppy track before returning to Woodbine only to be nosed out in a November 11 allowance race on the Tapeta track.
Both Contreras and Minshall anticipate a bright future for Admiralty Pier, who has matured greatly throughout his two-year-old campaign.
“Since the last start, he’s a different horse,” noted Contreras. “He used to lay in a lot. He used to try to get to the inside rail, but he’s getting better since the last time I rode him and I think next year will be a great year for him.”
“He’s matured a tonne,” said Minshall. “He’s just gotten better and better. He’s just a young, learning horse. I still think he’s better on the turf. I think he’s going to move up lengths and lengths on the turf, but he’s just getting better all the time. He’s going to have a little rest now and we’ll aim for the spring.”
Sent postward as the 2-1 second choice, Admiralty Pier paid $6.20, $3.90 and $3.30. He combined with Pipers Warrior ($9.60, $7.20) for a 6-2 exacta worth $68.90. A $1 trifecta of 6-2-5 (Sent From Heaven, $14.10) paid $696.35 and a $1 superfecta of 6-2-5-4 (Archaggelos) returned $3,264.15. Follow My Lead, Hoochiecoochie Sam, Sable Island, Thunder Ride and Marcus completed the field.