TORONTO, August 2, 2020 – A fitting repeat winner at Woodbine, the Gail Cox-trained two-year-old Ready to Repeat fashioned a front-end score in the $100,000 Victoria Stakes on Sunday afternoon.
Cox trains and shares ownership of the More Than Ready-Christine Daae gelding with John Menary, Michael Ambler and Windways Farm.
Jockey Luis Contreras was aboard for the 5-1/2-furlong feature win on the main track and doubled up in stakes action this weekend, also taking the $100,000 My Dear Stakes on Saturday in rein to the Steve Asmussen-trained filly Joy’s Rocket.
Ready to Repeat assumed command shortly out of the gates and set fractions of :22.32 and :44.40 before drawing away from his main threat Working the Table. Ready to Repeat romped home a 2-1/2-length winner in 1:03.53, with Master Spy and Gospel Way running on for second and third, respectively. Working the Table weakened turning for home and finished fourth, with All Canadian and Download completing the field.
“He broke a little bit slow – he was kind of nervous today. With lots of wind, that probably affected him a little,” said Contreras. “It was so windy today. But he just broke a little bit slow and when I asked him, he just [responded] right away.”
Ready to Repeat entered the Victoria Stakes after winning a five-furlong inner turf race last month by 1-3/4 lengths. Prior to that maiden-breaking effort, he debuted on the Tapeta when finishing second by three-quarters of a length going 4-1/2 furlongs on June 14.
“He’s always trained well,” said Cox. “I was really impressed with him after his first race and Luis said, ‘You know, he was just kind of staying with the other horse like he was working in company.’ When we put the blinkers on, it was quite a bit of a difference. Mentally, he’s little bit immature. He plays around all the time; everything is a big game.”
Looking ahead, the promising youngster, who now boasts a six-figure bankroll, appears to have options to compete on either racing surface.
“He loves the turf and he certainly ran well there too,” said Cox.
“He feels great on the grass,” agreed Contreras. “I think the only thing today [on the Tapeta] was just the weather because it was so windy. He’s such a nice horse, he shows he can run anywhere. It’s a great feeling when down the stretch he’s like a sports car.”
Ready to Repeat, bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, returned $3.60 to win as the 4-5 favourite.
Earlier on the card, Sunday’s fourth race was marred by an accident when Grazely (Rafael Hernandez), racing in mid-pack on the final turn, clipped heels with a horse in front of him and fell causing a chain reaction with four-year-old gelding Ruggero (Jerome Lermyte) unable to avoid collision.
Hernandez escaped serious injury and was able to resume riding in the following race. Lermyte, who was alert and examined by on-track EMS, was transported to hospital for further evaluation.
Grazely walked off under his own power.
Woodbine extends its heartfelt condolences to the connections of Ruggero, who passed away on track.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues on Thursday, with the first of eight races set to begin at 3:20 p.m. TSN will feature two hours of action-packed coverage from Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park on Racing Night Live, beginning at 6 p.m. ET.
UPDATE (August 2, 2020 – 10 p.m.): As per agent Steve Roberts, jockey Jerome Lermyte is in good spirits but suffered a fractured collarbone and is expected to be out of action for a month. Please join Woodbine in wishing Jerome a speedy recovery.