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Ballade Stakes: Red Cabernet looks to hit all the right keys for Piano Bar Racing

May 8, 2019

TORONTO, May 8, 2019 – Red Cabernet, a five-year-old daughter of Signature Red, seeks to add more Black Type to her racing resumé for trainer Ian Black and owner Piano Bar Racing, in Saturday’s $100,000 Ballade Stakes, at Woodbine.

A five-time winner from 19 starts, Red Cabernet makes her seasonal debut in the six-furlong Ontario Sires Stakes feature. Last year, the chestnut mare won three of nine starts, including her first added-money triumph when she took the Victoriana Stakes on August 11 at the Toronto oval.

Under regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson, Red Cabernet, sent off at 6-1, launched a rally and drove clear a furlong out in the 1 1/16-mile turf event, crossing the wire 3 ½ lengths the best. The final time was 1:41.34 over ‘good’ ground.

It was also the first stakes victory for Piano Bar Racing, a group led by Jim Menzies.

Red Cabernet and jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson winning the 2018 Victoriana Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

“Obviously, winning the Victoriana was big,” said Black, whose impressive list of winners includes Grade 1 Woodbine Mile champion Rahy’s Attorney, Grade 2 champs Stormy Lord and Excaper, and 2007 Queen’s Plate victor Mike Fox. “It was four years ago when they (owners) came to me and said they were interested in getting into the business. They bought a couple of yearlings and she happened to be one of them, which turned out very well.”

After a fifth and seventh, respectively, to kick off her 2018 campaign, Red Cabernet, bred by Paul Buttigieg, then won three of her four next starts, including the Victoriana.

She closed out her four-year-old season with a sixth-place effort in the Grade 2 Bessarabian on November 25. One race prior, Red Cabernet rallied gamely to finish second in the seven-furlong Overskate at odds of 32-1.

“She also proved, later on the year, that she can be competitive on Tapeta and run with the Open horses,” noted Black.

He’s looking at the Ballade with a glass half-full point of view.

“She’s doing really well,” praised Black. “She wintered up here, which is usually a disadvantage at this time of the year, but she has been training well. This is the best place to run her.”

Last year, Scotty’s Model, back to defend her crown, took the 22nd running of the Ballade in a time of 1:09.49. She paid $4.60 for the win.

The Ballade is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post time is 1:05 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via



1 – Silent Sonet – Davy Moran – Nick Gonzalez

2 – San Nicola Storm – Luis Contreras – Sam Di Pasquale

3 – Without a Doubt– Gary Boulanger – Ralph Biamonte

4 – Brookies Bear – Sahin Civaci – Ashlee Brnjas

5 – Blurricane – Jerome Lermyte – Martin Drexler

6 – Summer Sunday – Rafael Hernandez – Stuart Simon

7 – Zestina – Eurico Rosa da Silva – Sid Attard

8 – Scotty’s Model – Kazushi Kimura – Norm McKnight

9 – Red Cabernet – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Ian Black

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