TORONTO, July 2, 2022 – Bound for Nowhere, trained and owned by Wesley Ward, found daylight in late stretch to take top prize in Saturday’s Grade 2 $203,200 Highlander Stakes, at Woodbine.
It was a cavalry charge for the lead in the six-furlong turf sprint for four-year-olds and up contested over a firm E.P. Taylor Course, with Chuck Willis (IRE) emerging on top. The six-year-old gelding, on a two-race win streak, proceeded to lead his rivals through an opening quarter in :21.84, as Pablo Morales, aboard Bound for Nowhere, settled the eight-year-old into sixth spot.
Chuck Willis was still in control after a half-mile timed in :44.25, but a host of rivals began to set their sights on the leader around the turn for home.
As the field straightened for the long stretch drive, Arzak took over top spot at the stretch call, as Morales and Bound for Nowhere, behind a wall of horses, desperately looked for daylight.
When the opportunity came, the duo punched through and attempted to collar frontrunning Arzak, which they eventually did, grinding out a one-length triumph in a time of 1:08.1. Arzak finished second, a neck ahead of longshot White Flag. Silent Poet finished fourth.
“For a second, I thought I might be a little closer, but it worked out perfectly,” said Morales. “A lot of horses came out together head and head and I was able to drop in and save a little bit of ground. He was very powerful all the way around there. I was sitting on a ton of horse. I was following a couple that I thought would carry me, but it seemed like everybody sort of stayed together. I was getting a little worried there but I’m glad I was able to work out a trip. When I put him in the clear, and he felt a little bit of room, he just took off.
“I didn’t even see the Form. If Wesley Ward wants you to come to Woodbine, I’m going to come to Woodbine. I had no idea what horse it was, of course for my surprise, for a great surprise, I looked at the horse and I’m like, ‘Well, you’re put on an awesome horse.’ I was really excited to be here.”
It was the second straight trip to the winner’s circle for Bound for Nowhere, bred in Kentucky by Wayne Lyster, Gray Lyster and Bryan Lister.
“He was full of run the whole way,” praised Morales. “He broke really good, and I think I put him in a good spot. He wants to go. He’s big and strong, there’s horses in front of me that are sort of running, but are not really taking off, so mine just wanted to go and go and I’m just trying to stay as close as possible, so when it opens, I can go for it. I was going to go for a wider bid and, you’re right, he was he was just powerful all the way around there. I did have to steady him a little bit because he just wants to run them over.”
The son of The Factor-Fancy Deed now has nine wins, two seconds and three thirds from 19 career starts.
Bound for Nowhere paid $13, $7.30 and $5.10. Arzak ($7.10, $6.10) rounded out an $81.80 exactor. White Flag ($13.50) completed a $1,226 triactor, while a $1 superfecta with Silent Poet returned $3,527.95.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms