TORONTO, April 13 – Stacked Deck, Canada’s Champion Sprinter of 2015, will make his 2017 debut in the $100,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes on Opening Day Saturday, at Woodbine.
Trained by Barb Minshall for owner-breeder Bruce Lunsford, Stacked Deck enjoyed a strong 2016 campaign posting a record of two wins and two second from five starts led by scores in the Ontario Jockey Club and the Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes.
With purse earnings north of $600,000, Stacked Deck returns to action on the Woodbine main where he has dominated with seven wins in 10 attempts. Rafael Hernandez will guide the six-year-old First Samurai gelding, who wintered in sunny South Carolina, from post six in a talented field of nine older sprinters.
“He’s drawn well. He had a really good winter at Webb Carroll Training Center and has had a couple of breezes here and is in good shape. He’s ready to go,” said Minshall.
An April 2 breeze in :57.80 over the Woodbine Tapeta pops off the page. The multiple graded stakes winning sprinter followed that work with an April 9 effort in 1:01.60.
“He was really quick that day so the last breeze I told Rafael to take a big hold of him and not let him go too hard. It was just a maintenance breeze. He’s in good order,” said Minshall.
Although there are only two works listed on the past performances, Stacked Deck runs well off a layoff and has a good foundation from his winter spent at Webb Carroll.
“He’s a horse that likes to be fresh. At the end of the season we gave him a couple of months off. We literally don’t train him and he gets turned to be a horse and get muddy and roll in the paddock,” said Minshall. “In the middle of January he started training again and he comes to hand pretty quick. He had a lot of breezes down there and he’s doing well. I think he’ll fire fresh as he usually does.”
Passion for Action, trained by Mike DePaulo for owner-breeder Ben Hutzel, will make his second start of 2017 as he looks to defend his Jacques Cartier title. The Speightstown bay is a finalist for 2016 Champion Sprinter honours which will be handed out later this evening at the Sovereign Awards gala in Toronto.
Passion for Action won three of 10 starts last season boasting scores in the Grade 3 Vigil, on the Woodbine main, as well as in the Grade 2 Highlander over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. Emma-Jayne Wilson has the call.
Pink Lloyd, trained by Robert Tiller for Entourage Stable, won the first three starts of his career at age four. The late blooming son of Old Forester finished fifth in his stakes debut when sprinting seven furlongs in the Overskate but came back with a game effort to be second to rival Stacked Deck in the Kennedy Road. Eurico Rosa da Silva, Woodbine’s leading rider in 2016, has the call.
Commute, Copperplate, Puntrooskie, Conquest Tsunami, Go Bro and Something Awesome complete the field.
The Jacques Cartier is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post time is 1PM. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIBet.com.
FIELD FOR THE $100,000 JACQUES CARTIER
POST / HORSE / JOCKEY / TRAINER
1 / Commute / Patrick Husbands / Mark Casse
2 / Copperplate / David Moran / Reade Baker
3 / Pink Lloyd / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Robert Tiller
4 / Puntrooskie / Gary Boulanger / Don MacRae
5 / Conquest Tsunami / Jermaine Bridgmohan / Mark Casse
6 / Stacked Deck / Rafael Hernandez / Barb Minshall
7 / Passion for Action / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Mike D Paulo
8 / Go Bro / Jesse Campbell / Mike Keogh
9 / Something Awesome / Alan Garcia / Dan Vella