TORONTO, July 24 – Jade Dragon got first jump on favoured Langstaff and held on strong down the lane to score a one-length win in Wednesday’s $125,000 Deputy Minister Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Bob Tiller for D’Onofrio and Peri Di Giulio, Jade Dragon came into the seven furlong ‘Poly’ event for Ontario-sired three-year-olds off a third-place finish in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance sprint.
Canuspellpatience, piloted by Jermaine Bridgmohan, led a compact field of four through a quarter in :24.12 with Jade Dragon, riding the rail under Tyler Pizarro, and Langstaff, racing outside under Luis Contreras, stalking his pace.
Canuspellpatience led the field into the turn through a half in :47.12 as Pizarro angled Jade Dragon off the rail and surged into the lead at the top of the lane. Contreras, following Pizarro’s lead, set down Langstaff for the stretch run but could not reel in a stubborn Jade Dragon who edged his stablemate for the win. Jade Dragon stopped the clock in 1:24.08.
Silent Admirer, off a step slow, rallied up the rail for show.
Tiller, who trains both Jade Dragon and Langstaff, was pleased with the trip engineered by Pizarro.
"I think this was a jockey’s race and there’s no doubt Tyler rode the race," said Tiller. "He got the jump on him and he was gone."
Although Tiller was surprised to see the favourite defeated, the Hall of Fame conditioner expects to see a much improved Langstaff return on the E.P Taylor Turf Course.
"I think he’s (Langstaff)going to be a far better horse on the grass. I’m not disappointed," said Tiller. "I wanted one of them to win it and I was one-two so I’m happy."
Pizarro dictated the key early move to put Jade Dragon to the lead at the top of the lane.
"The race just set up perfect," said Pizarro. "I was hoping I could that two-length jump on him (Langstaff) and hold on at the end and today he did."
Jade Dragon banked $78,750 in victory, while improving his record to 3-2-3 from 10 career starts.
He returned $12, pairing with Langstaff for a $21.10 (4-6) exactor. There was no place, show or triactor wagering. Top Marc in Class and I’m a Kittyhawk were scratched.