TORONTO, October 20, 2021 – A pair of turf stakes, the Lake Superior and Thunder Bay, will share the spotlight on Friday’s eight-race card at Woodbine.
The seven-furlong tilts are part of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series, an eight-leg stakes series which are contested at Woodbine and Fort Erie racetracks.
Ontario Racing and its Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP) Committee unveiled the series in March. With a total purse structure of $750,000, the Heritage Series features a total of four races – three opening legs and one final – for both three-year-old colts and three-year-old fillies that are sustained to the Ontario Sires Stakes program.
On August 7, Forest Survivor won the $80,000 Lake Huron Stakes, a five-furlong Inner Turf race for colts & geldings, while Artful Ballerina took top prize in the companion $80,000 Georgian Bay for fillies, contested at the same distance and over the same surface.
Five weeks later, at Fort Erie, Red River Rebel won the six-furlong $80,000 Lake Erie Stakes, for colts & geldings, and Red Equinox bested her filly rivals in the six-furlong $80,000 Rondeau Bay Stakes.
The $80,000 Lake Superior, which goes as race three, has attracted 11 colts & geldings, including Darwin Banach pupil I’m Dashing.
Bred and owned by Martin and Victoria Earle, the son of Society’s Chairman has compiled a record of 2-0-1 from five career starts.
The bay arrives at the Lake Superior off a smart score on September 26 at Woodbine. Under Antonio Gallardo, who gets the call again on Friday, I’m Dashing broke outwardly in the 7 ½-furlong Inner Turf race, but quickly recovered and then rallied to notch a one-length win in 1:31.75 over firm ground.
“We were excited about that effort,” said Banach. “I spoke with the owners and we had this spot in the back of our minds, if he could step up and win that race. And he did it quite impressively I thought. It set up everything for the Lake Superior, so now, this is where we’re aiming.”
After a ninth-place result in his career bow last October, I’m Dashing finished fourth in his next start, his three-year-old debut, this June at Woodbine.
He broke his maiden via a three-quarter-of-a-length victory on August 1 in a seven-furlong race over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, following that effort with a third-place finish in another seven-panel grass engagement on September 4.
Banach, enjoying a strong season at the Toronto oval, is looking for another top showing from his sophomore.
“He’s been doing, well, developing and maturing. He’s very easy to work with, just a very cool dude to be around. He wants to go out there and please you. He was very laid back and now he’s a little more playful coming home. He’s talking to us, telling us he’s feeling pretty good.”
The Thunder Bay, slated as the first race, has drawn eight hopefuls, including multiple stakes winner Lorena, trained and co-owned by Stuart Simon.
First post time is 4:45 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
FIELD FOR THE $80,00 LAKE SUPERIOR
POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER
1 – Forest Survivor – Shaun Bridgmohan – Norman McKnight
2 – Speed Way (S) – Simon Husbands – Sid Attard
3 – Master Spy – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
4 – Perfect Crime – Eswan Flores – Patrick Dixon
5 – Maakwa – Gary Boulanger – Shana Lopez
6 – I’m Dashing – Antonio Gallardo – Darwin Banach
7 – All Canadian – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Gail Cox
8 – Kosmonavt – Luis Contreras – Norman McKnight
9 – Dragon’s Brew – Kazushi Kimura – Robert Tiller
10 – Secret Reserve – Rafael Hernandez – Mike Mattine
11 – Red River Rebel – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
FIELD FOR THE $80,000 THUNDER BAY
POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER
1 – Red Equinox – Christopher Husbands – Jamie Attard
2 – Imaginary Sky (S) – Daisuke Fukumoto – Suzanne Drake
3 – Meet the Soprano – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
4 – Cleomenes – Patrick Husbands – Josie Carroll
5 – Jilli Marie – Steven Bahen – Katerina Vassilieva
6 – Lorena – Gary Boulanger – Stuart Simon
7 – Sunsprite – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
8 – Dejas Too – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms on Twitter