TORONTO, October 6, 2022 – Bound for Nowhere, a well-travelled 8-year-old, owned and trained by Wesley Ward, shipped in from Kentucky this July to take down the Grade 2 Highlander Handicap over 6 furlongs of Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
On Saturday, the four-time stakes winner will be looking to add to his laurels when he faces eight rivals in the Grade 2 $250,000 Nearctic over the same layout.
“This has been his next goal since he won his last race up there,” said Ward. “I think he ran a phenomenal race and I’m really excited to get him back going again. And I didn’t want to run into my own horse, Golden Pal, down here at Keeneland.”
Golden Pal, a 4-year-old colt who will be favoured in Saturday’s Woodford, and provided all remains well, will be seeking a repeat there in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, has a much higher profile than Bound for Nowhere.
But Bound for Nowhere sports some serious credentials of his own, with four career stakes victories in North America and a Group 1 placing to show for his four trips to face elite company across the pond.
Despite his rather advanced age, the Kentucky-bred has made just 19 career starts.
“I’ve owned him since he was a yearling,” said Ward. “I can choose where I want to run him, and I’m very patient with him.”
Kazushi Kimura, Woodbine’s leading rider, has picked up the mount on Bound for Nowhere.
Silent Poet, a 7-year-old gelding trained by Nick Gonzalez, is the only Grade 1 winner in the Nearctic lineup, having captured the Highlander (when it carried that designation) last August.
Although Silent Poet is winless in five starts this year, Gonzalez believes the Stronach Stable homebred will make his presence felt in the Nearctic.
“The cool down in the weather has really picked his head up,” said Gonzalez, who has sent out the Ontario-bred to win five stakes including the Nearctic’s 2020 renewal.
“He’s doing quite well; I’m really looking forward to it.”
Gonzalez, in fact, is thankful that Silent Poet will be going to the post at all after watching his stable star get knocked into the rail when finishing seventh as the odds-on choice last out in the restricted 5-furlong Vice Regent on the Inner Turf course.
“That was a nightmare,” said Gonzalez. “I was just so glad nothing happened to him. He just got turned sideways. We were unlucky that it happened, but lucky that he didn’t get injured. That was brutal.”
Regular rider Justin Stein returns aboard Silent Poet.
Fauci also will have his boosters while coming in from Saratoga off a closing third-place finish in the Lucky Coin over 5 ½ furlongs of turf.
Slated to be the first Canadian starter for New York-based trainer Phillip Antonacci, Fauci has won just two of 16 starts but has placed in seven turf stakes including a third in the Grade 2 Franklin-Simpson at Kentucky Downs late last summer.
Also shipping in for the Nearctic will be Noble Emotion and Cazadero, the first and third finishers when last starting in a Saratoga turf sprint on August 27.
Rounding out the field will be Roaring Forties, Wedgewood, Into the Sunrise and Ice Chocolat (BRZ).
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Noble Emotion – Antonio Gallardo – Horacio De Paz
2 – Ice Chocolat (BRZ) – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
3 – Wedgewood – Jason Hoyte – Mike Keogh
4 – Into the Sunrise – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
5 – Fauci – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Philip Antonacci
6 – Roaring Forties – Rafael Hernandez – Katerina Vassilieva
7 – Silent Poet – Justin Stein – Nick Gonzalez
8 – Bound for Nowhere – Kazushi Kimura – Wesley Ward
9 – Cazadero – Patrick Husbands – Brendan Walsh
Bill Tallon, for Woodbine Communications