TORONTO, May 15, 2022 – Arzak, a four-year-old son of Not This Time-Delightful Melody, made it three-for-three at Woodbine, after taking Sunday’s Grade 3 $151,200 Jacques Cartier Stakes.
There’s something about the Toronto oval that seems to bring out the best in the Arzak. In November 2020, the Michael Trombetta trainee broke his maiden in his second career start. This April, the chestnut won the Thorncliffe Stakes by 3 ¼-lengths.
On a picture-perfect afternoon, the Sonata Stable silk-bearer once again shone over the Woodbine Tapeta.
Kazushi Kimura wasted little time in putting Arzak on the engine, with the duo on top by a length through an opening quarter-mile timed in :22.55, as Secret Reserve to the inside, and Silent Poet, to the outside, tracked the pacesetter.
Arzak extended his lead to 2 ½-lengths after a half-mile reached in :44.99, as Souper Stonehenge, last year’s Jacques Cartier victor, graded stakes winner Tap It to Win, and Striker, the LNJ Foxwoods’ budding star, all took aim at the frontrunner.
Ahead by four lengths at Robert Geller’s stretch call, Arzak easily fended off his foes to post a 1 ½-length triumph in a time of 1:08.91. Tap It to Win was second, Souper Stonehenge was third, a neck in front of Striker.
“He’s a completely nice horse,” said Kimura, who won the 2021 Sovereign Award as Canada’s top rider. “I just dropped the lines to show the natural speed and just go wire-to-wire. He doesn’t have to go to the lead. I wanted to drop the lines and make it comfortable for him, and he’s going to show up for the final stretch.”
It proved to be the winning gameplan against an accomplished group of sprinters.
Bred in Kentucky by John Oxley, Arzak now has five wins, to go along with one second and a third, from 13 career starts.
“He’s a nice horse,” praised Kimura. “I hope that he’s going to be the next [now retired Canadian sprint superstar] Pink Lloyd.”
Arzak paid $6.50, $3.70 and $2.80, combining with Tap It to Win ($5, $3.10) for a $33.10 exactor. Souper Stonehenge ($2.90) completed a $165.10 triactor, while Striker rounded out a $1 superfecta that returned $213.15.
Live racing returns to Woodbine on Thursday with a first-race post time of 1:10 p.m.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms