TORONTO, August 30, 2020 – Woodbine’s action-packed Sunday program showcased graduates of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s sales vying for $770,000 in purses across four stakes events.
Two-year-olds were in the spotlight competing over 6-1/2 furlongs on the main track in the $250,000 Simcoe Stakes for colts and geldings and the filly companion Muskoka Stakes. Three-year-olds faced off in the $135,000 Elgin Stakes and matching Algoma for fillies, both over seven furlongs.
Goldmart Farms’ undefeated homebred Dragon’s Brew ($8.10) kicked off the stakes action with a 2-1/2-length victory in the Simcoe Stakes with Daisuke Fukumoto aboard for Hall of Fame trainer Robert Tiller.
The Milwaukee Brew-Miss Dragonfly gelding, who made his move launching four-wide from the mid-pack turning for home, is now perfect in two career starts.
“He won easy, so it looks like he has a very good future,” said Fukumoto.
Dragon’s Brew, the 3-1 second choice, powered past the duelling front-runners at the eighth pole and drew off to score in 1:17.90. All Canadian chased the winner home in second while Took a Wrong Turn re-emerged at the rail to finish third.
“He’s no bigger than a muskrat, but he’s got heart, he’s got pump,” said Tiller of the half-brother to 2016 Bull Page Stakes winner Dragon’s Cry. “He’s out of a nice mare. She had a nice horse before and I honestly liked him all along, that’s why we ran him in the open race. Goldmart, Dave [Sepiashvili] and Liz [Pathak], they deserve it. They’ve backed this breeding program for years, it’s nice to see that [win] for them. I’m very happy for them.”
El Bayern ($48) made her career debut a winning one in the Muskoka Stakes with a late charge to defeat favourites For My Elbi and Ms Wicked in the shadow of the wire.
Overcoming the outside post 10, El Bayern went from last to first under jockey Sheena Ryan for the 23-1 upset, stopping the clock in 1:18.91 one length in front for trainer Michael Mattine and owner Stacey Van Camp.
“To be honest, I didn’t love the 10-hole,” said Ryan. “I don’t think anyone loves that post with a first-timer, but we’ve done a lot of work with the filly and Mike and Stacey and their team have done a good job getting her ready so I figured we’ve got a shot.
“Everybody was going [at the start] and I thought I’d just save some ground because we’re way out there. She got some good [racing] experience, got some [Tapeta] in the face and she didn’t even care, she just drove into it. She came around and finished like she does in her works, so I was really impressed.”
Bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, the Bayern-El Tara filly was just an $8,000 yearling purchase and, despite being a project filly to break and train down, rewarded her connections with a $150,000 payday at first asking.
El Bayern is a half-sister to Quidi Vidi, who was a runner-up in the 2014 Muskoka Stakes.
The favoured chestnut filly Marjorie’s Dream ($5.60) led all the way and held off a late lunge from Silent Causeway to prevail by a nose in an Algoma Stakes win photo.
The Old Forester-Where’s the Irish filly gave trainer Randy Thompson his first stakes victory with Patrick Husbands aboard, donning the maroon and silver silks that acknowledge Thompson’s mother with an emblem of a fork and knife.
“It’s amazing, it feels really good,” said Thompson, who also shares ownership of Marjorie’s Dream with John McMullan. “First of all, I want to thank my good friend Peter Brown for finding me in Barbados and getting me a job in Canada 20 years ago. He let me work for Mr. Tino Attard and Kevin Attard – I really appreciate those guys. And most of all, my mom, she allowed me to come. As you see, my colours are well representative of my mom’s food business.”
Marjorie’s Dream was alone on the lead throughout and up to the challenge when the forwardly-placed Silent Causeway came calling. Bambarra Bay edged out Sterling Speed for third, finishing 2-3/4 lengths behind the top pair. The final time was 1:23.26.
“My mentor always told me that if you’ve got a horse than can make time by themselves, when you got company they will go faster,” said Thompson. “And this horse has never breezed in company yet. So I know that she’s a herd horse.”
Marjorie’s Dream, who was bred by Walnut Ridge Farm, earned her second (consecutive) win from four starts.
The filly’s stakes victory was a special one for Thompson in more ways than one.
“She was named after aunt Marjorie and she was always a fighter,” noted Thompson. “She’s up in heaven today and she’s looking down on us.”
Owned by Rainbow Stables and trained by Norm McKnight, Told It All ($20.60) was victorious in an eventful Elgin Stakes with Luis Contreras finally claiming his pot of gold after being narrowly defeated in rein to earlier stakes runners-up For My Elbi and Silent Causeway.
“It was kind of a rough day for me getting beat by a nose, but you never know when the rainbow comes out,” said Contreras with a smile.
There was some early drama out of the gates as Have a Souper Day stumbled and dismounted jockey Rafael Hernandez. The riderless gelding ran on and briefly impeded the leading All Inclusive while running up the rail but then drifted towards the outside as the race proceeded.
Contreras had Told It All positioned fourth outside the front-runners and struck the lead in the stretch before opening up 2-1/2 lengths to win in 1:23.25, with Benlion and Forester’s Fortune rallying on for second and third, respectively.
Hernandez walked off unscathed and Have a Souper Day was caught after the completion of the race.
“Since we broke from the gate, he [Told It All] was all nice and relaxed so it didn’t bother him at all,” said Contreras of the early drama. “So I just let him run the race and I saw the loose horse on the rail going to the outside, but I got a clear trip all the way.
“We were so comfortable the whole way and turning for home when I asked him, he just went with the flow.”
Bred by Spring Farm, the grey Big Screen-Tell No One gelding, who is a half-sibling to graded stakes placed Platinum Glory, has made six career starts and is riding a three-race win streak. Previously trained by Julie Belhumeur, Told It All was claimed by Rainbow Stables from Robert M. Hardie for $25,000 following a pair of wins this summer on the grass going 1-1/16 miles.
This year’s Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s Premier Yearling Sale will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 12 noon (ET) in the Woodbine Sales Pavilion.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine on Thursday, with post time set for 3:20 p.m.