TORONTO, August 14, 2019 – The theme of the evening played out to perfection in Wednesday’s on track feature as Piano Bar Racing’s Red Cabernet and jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson were fitting winners of the $100,000 Eternal Search Stakes on Ladies Night at Woodbine.
Fillies and mares competed on track throughout the entire eight-race program while wine-tastings, dining specials and giveaways were all part of the Ladies Night festivities at the Toronto oval.
Wilson worked out a ground-saving trip aboard Red Cabernet in the 1-1/16-mile Ontario Sire Stakes event behind race leader Without a Doubt and the stalking Zestina through fractions of :23.77, :48.21 and 1:11.76 over the new inner turf course. Red Cabernet slipped out coming off the final turn to take the lead with a furlong to go then held off the outside closer She’s the Berries by a neck in 1:42.89. Piper’s Legacy, the 2-1 favourite, rallied between rivals to take third prize less than a length behind while Without a Doubt settled for fourth.
“She’s a heck of mare. You point her in the right direction and she goes,” said Wilson after the victory. “I remember breezing this filly down at Payson Park when she was two turning three and she’s just always been that type that you thought could win stakes and do well. That was the first time on the inner [turf course] for her and she had a little look around late and she kind of waited on them a little bit, but then they got to her and she realized, ‘oh, I’m in a horse race,’ and put her ears right back and went right back to business.”
Bred in Ontario by Paul Buttigieg, the five-year-old Signature Red-Gold Leaf Rose mare now has six wins from 23 career starts and more than $400,000 banked in purses for her ownership group of six friends who purchased her for a modest $35,000 at the 2015 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Yearling Sale.
“I mean she’s just been great,” said trainer Ian Black, noting this year’s Canadian Premier Yearling Sale is just two weeks away. “It just shows that a small group together can buy a nice horse.”
A winner over the same distance on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in last August’s Victoriana Stakes, Red Cabernet earned her first victory in four starts this year. She returned $11.30 to win as the 9-2 fourth wagering choice.
“She was in some tough spots and probably the wrong surface [earlier this year],” said Black. “This is the race I looked at all year. When I found it, I saw that they changed to the inside [turf course] and I wasn’t 100 per cent sure, but she proved me wrong.”
“At the end of the day, the credit really does go to the horse,” said co-owner Jim Menzies. “Ian has done a great job with her, Emma gave her a great ride and, as you saw in the last 100 yards there, it was almost like she decided, ‘ok, I’m going to win this one,’ and that’s what she went ahead and did. It was thrilling.”
All of the evening’s winning connections will get to celebrate with their own bottle of Girl’s Night Out wine, courtesy of Colio Estate Wines.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine on Friday at 4:05 p.m.