TORONTO, April 17, 2022 – Arzak, under Kazushi Kimura, dominated his rivals while putting his name in the record books in Sunday’s $106,400 Thorncliffe Stakes, a 5 ½-furlong Tapeta sprint for four-year-olds and up, at Woodbine.
Trained by Michael Trombetta for owner Sonata Stable, Arzak, a four-year-old son of Not This Time-Delightful Melody, was making his second lifetime start at the Toronto oval. The Kentucky-bred won the second start of his career at Woodbine on November 8, 2020.
His encore performance was even more impressive.
Breaking sharply from post seven, Arzak sat just off early pacesetters Spite Store and Richiesinthehouse, who took their seven rivals through an opening quarter in :22.14.
Kimura, recently crowned Canada’s champion rider at the annual Sovereign Awards ceremony, kept a patient hand on the John Oxley-bred chestnut, waiting for the right moment to make his move.
And when he did, Arzak, sent off at 6-1, responded with an explosive turn of foot, dashing away from the field at the head of the lane to cross the wire an easy 3 ¼-length winner.
The final time of 1:02.36 established the new benchmark for 5 ½ furlongs on the Woodbine main track.
Multiple graded stakes winner Silent Poet was second and a late-closing Lenny K was third. White Flag finished fourth.
“I already talked with the trainer,” noted Kimura. “That horse a couple of times had traffic trouble. I just made sure to warm him up well. I just kept him clear, and I already knew that number six [Spite Store] had speed, so I just sat beside him.”
It was the fourth win and second stakes score from 12 starts for Arzak, who took the Tom Ridge at Presque Isle last August.
He arrived at the Thorncliffe off a sixth-place effort in the Showing Up Stakes last November at Gulfstream.
On Sunday at Woodbine, Kentucky-bred Arzak showed up with his A-game.
“I guess this horse really loves the Tapeta,” said Kimura. “I hope the horse will stay here.”
Arzak paid $14.20 for the win and combined with Silent Poet ($6.80, $5.80) for a $119.40 exactor. Lenny K ($7.50) completed an $800.90 triactor. A $1 superfecta (White Flag) paid $3,611.80.
Kumira, the recently crowned Sovereign Award winner, has picked up where he left off last season, capturing three consecutive wins on the card. He found the winner’s circle with Grandmas Favorite in race two, Ibrim in race three, as well as Arzak.
Live racing resumes on Saturday with a first race post time of 1:10 p.m.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms