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Seffeara speeds into Clarendon

July 10, 2014

TORONTO, July 10 – Empress Racing Stables’ Seffeara, a track record setter on his June 8 debut, headlines Saturday’s $150,000 Clarendon Stakes, at Woodbine.
The bay son of Old Forester-Town Dance, trained by Steve Owens, comes into the 5 1/2-furlong sprint for Ontario-bred two-year-olds off a blistering debut in which Seffeara stopped the clock in a corrected final running time :51.01, some 11 3/4-lengths in front of a stunned field.
"I was in awe in the way that he won. I wasn’t surprised that he won as much as how he won," said Owens. "He’s very athletic. He’s a big individual for a two-year-old but his athleticism is second to none. He’s very agile."
While Owens was quietly confident of a good result at first asking, jockey Gary Boulanger was a little concerned the lanky gelding may have needed more ground to stretch his legs.
"When Gary breezed him from the gate (:48.80 on May 31), which was the only time he sat on him during his training period, he said it took him two or three strides to get his feet underneath him and then he breezed well," recalled Owens. "Because of his scope as an individual, Gary thought that 4 1/2-furlongs might be a little too short for him.
"However, in the barn, we were confident 4 1/2-furlongs would be no problem against Ontario-sired horses. He was outworking all of his company. We had every confidence he would win his first start."
Seffeara, set as the 6-5 favourite in the Clarendon, is a homebred of the Owens family Empress Stables overseen by Steve’s wife Beverly and their young daughter Emma.
"I’m just the trainer," joked Owens. "Seffeara is a homebred that has never been further south than Woodbine or further north than Kleinburg. He was born at the Drake’s Silver Duck Farm where we foal all our mares."
On Saturday, the local horse will tackle a talented seven-horse field that features a pair of pricey Mark Casse trainees.
Sky Racer, the 8-5 second choice and a $160,000 yearling purchase, finished third on debut at Keeneland on April 17. Second time out, when making his Woodbine debut in a five furlong maiden allowance, the bay son of Sky Mesa-Dancehall Floozy, bred in Ontario by Robert Harvey, made every pole a winning one with an emphatic six-length score over Clarendon rivals Irish Desire and Charlie’s Wisdom. Luis Contreras retains the mount on the colt owned by John Oxley.
Conquest Typhoon, a $330,000 yearling purchase at the same Keeneland sale for the up-and-coming Conquest Stables, makes his racing debut on Saturday with Queen’s Plate winning-jock Patrick Husbands in the irons. A bay son of Stormy Atlantic-Swanky Bubbles, bred in Ontario by Josham Farms, Conquest Typhoon posted a sharp bullet breeze of :59.80 on July 5.
Maiden winners R U Watchingbud and Undercover Cat complete the field.
Owens is hopeful that the added furlong on Saturday will benefit his homebred.
"He’s trained the same way that he did going into the first race," said Owens. "The extra furlong could help him. He’s a size-y individual. The further he goes, the better he should get."
And while breaking Legal Move’s track record of 1:02.70 for 5 1/2-furlongs may be out of reach, Owens is looking forward to watching the gelding reach his full potential.
"Gary said if he’d chirped to him in that last race he would have shattered the track record," grinned Owens. "He could be a freakish individual. We’ll just have to ride it out and see how far we can take it. I hope he’s the real deal."
Also featured on Saturday is the Passing Mood Stakes for three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies. The grassy seven furlong turf tilt features multiple stakes winner On Rainbow Bridge and the improving Executive Allure.
The Clarendon is carded as Race Six on Saturday’s programme, while the Passing Mood will go as Race Eight. First post is 1:00 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on the card via HorsePlayer Interactive.

FIELD FOR THE $150,000 Clarendon Stakes

Post / Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1 / R U Watchingbud / Emma-Jayne Wilson / John Ross / 12-1
2 / Seffeara / Gary Boulanger / Steve Owens / 6-5
3 / Charlie’s Wisdom / Jesse Campbell / Nick Gonzalez / 20-1
4 / Conquest Typhoon / Patrick Husbands / Mark Casse / 4-1
5 / Irish Desire / Davy Moran / Mike Doyle / 20-1
6 / Sky Racer / Luis Contreras / Mark Casse / 8-5
7 / Undercover Cat / Gerry Olguin / Ian Howard / 15-1
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