TORONTO, September 16 — Ikerrin Road, who opted for Saturday’s Grade 3 $125,000 Bold Venture Stakes after being seriously considered for the Woodbine Mile, validated that choice with a going-away 1 ¼-length victory in the sprint supporting feature.
With David Moran riding for trainer Vito Armata and Alpine Stable Ltd., Ikerrin Road won his first stakes race on this side of the pond after being claimed for $32,000 back on May 13.
Ikerrin Road, breaking from the inside post in the field of six for the 6 ½ furlong Bold Venture, established a stalking position on the rail early as Boreal Spirit established command and led by 1 ½ lengths through a quarter in :23.18.
Puntrooskie, last year’s Bold Venture winner, chased Boreal Spirit from second with Ikerrin Road in close attendance in third place.
Ikerrin Road stayed glued to the fence as Boreal Spirit held a two-length lead through a half in :45.89 and Puntrooskie struggled to keep pace.
Coming off the final turn, Ikerrin Road swung out and took dead aim on Boreal Spirit, eventually wearing down that rival in the final furlong while stopping the clock in 1:15.40.
Boreal Spirit finished 2 ¾ lengths clear of third-place finisher Majestic Slew, who closed on the inside.
Circle of Friends, the lone three-year-old in the lineup, finished another three lengths back in fourth while closing mildly on the outside.
Unbridled Juan, making his first start in a sprint since his debut at Gulfstream Park in February of 2015, was sent off as the 9-5 favourite and was put into the race early by jockey Luis Contreras only to falter in the closing stages and finish fifth.
Puntrooskie showed the effects of his early exertions and faded to last.
Good Bye Greg, who was cross-entered in the $65,000 Jeff Lynne Memorial at Arlington Park, scratched from the Bold Venture.
Ikerrin Road, an Irish-bred who had won three of seven starts in England before being sent to North America last fall, was recording his third win for his new connections after scoring for $50,000 and then for $60,000 in an optional claiming race last time out.
Ikerrin Road, the slight third choice as three horses were sent off at 5-1, paid $12, $5.30 and $5.30. He combined with Boreal Spirit ($6, $4.40) for a 1-2 exacta worth $54.50. A $1 trifecta of 1-2-6 (Majestic Slew, $5.90) paid $130.35 and a $1 superfecta of 1-2-6-7 (Circle of Friends) returned $420.80.