TORONTO, November 20, 2020 – Two-year-old Red River Rebel defied his odds in the featured $100,000 Frost King Stakes, scoring a maiden-breaking victory on Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack.
Steve Bahen worked out the winning trip aboard the homebred Reload gelding in the 6-1/2-furlong Ontario Sired Stakes event, which was rescheduled after Sunday’s Thoroughbred racing program was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions.
Red River Rebel tracked a trio of early leavers in fourth-place while Forest Survivor established the lead through a :22.76 quarter-mile and was pressed by All Canadian into the turn. Red River Rebel chased along the rail into the stretch and took the inside path to victory, surging by despite Forest Survivor drifting in down the lane.
Making just his second career start, Red River Rebel was victorious in 1:16.05 for trainer Rachel Halden and owners Denny Andrews and Northern Dawn Stables. Forest Survivor finished 2-1/2 lengths behind in second, with Candy Overload overtaking All Canadian, who edged out Bull Page Stakes winner Avoman in a photo finish for fourth-place. The popular Simcoe Stakes champion, Dragon’s Brew, finished sixth, followed by Souper Classy, De Only Solution and Blind Trust.
Sent postward at odds of 6-1 after finishing third in his October 23 debut, Red River Rebel returned $14.90 to win.
“He ran real good his first start, but he did get a little tired,” said Bahen. “He came back and he trained real good. I’ve been galloping him and he’s been training really well so I knew he was good today.
“I think he can be any kind of horse; he’s just learning now,” added the veteran reinsman. “He was kind of a little silly guy and he’s learned a lot since we’ve had him and he’s doing well. He’s moving forwardly and hopefully he gets even better.”
In other Friday night action, favourite The Boss Factor ($5.70) was no match for his grey rivals, winning the 2020 edition of the $50,000 Grey Handicap in rein to Patrick Husbands and giving trainer Martin Drexler back-to-back victories in the event.
Owned by Bruno Schickedanz, the four-year-old gelded son of The Factor opened up an insurmountable 10-length lead down the backstretch in the 1-1/16-mile main track race and cruised home to score in 1:44.26. His leading margin diminished to one length with Coleyville closing from the backfield in second. Suitedconnected checked in third, another 3-1/4 lengths behind.
The Grey Handicap is for registered grey and roan horses, three-year-olds and up, that have started for a claiming price of $25,000 or less in 2019-20.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine Racetrack with a super Saturday stakes program, featuring the $175,000 Kennedy Road Stakes (Grade 2), $175,000 Bessarabian Stakes (Grade 2), $125,000 Ontario Derby (Grade 3) and $150,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes. All the action begins at 1:25 p.m.