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War Bomber (IRE) impressive in Grade 2 King Edward Stakes / Canadiansweetheart pulls off Sweet Briar Too surprise

August 19, 2023

TORONTO, August 19, 2023 – Canadiansweetheart, at 36-1, rallied impressively to take Saturday’s $125,000 Sweet Briar Too Stakes at Woodbine.

The trio of trainer Renico Lafond, jockey Leo Salles and owner Kris Manohar will team up with longshot Morstachy’s in Sunday’s running of the 164th King’s Plate.

On Saturday afternoon, they combined for a sweet surprise score with outsider Canadiansweetheart. 

Forest Drift broke alertly and eventually struck front with 3-5 choice Clitheroe (GB) and Run for the Hills pressing the leader, as Salles and Canadiansweetheart sat fourth through an opening quarter in :22.37.  

Just ahead of the half (reached in :44.43), Forest Drift was overtaken by Clitheroe (GB) and Run for the Hills, as Salles positioned Canadiansweetheart for her best run. Midway down the lane, the longest shot on the board was quickly gaining ground on the frontrunners.  

Canadiansweetheart wore down her rivals and went on to record a three-quarter length triumph in a time of 1:08.68 over “firm” going. A fast-closing 13-1 Talk to Ya Later rallied for second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Clitheroe (GB). Hard Edge, who had to check along the backstretch, finished fourth. 

“Everything worked out good,” said Salles. “I breezed her and she came ready to race. We got a perfect trip. I came outside and when I asked her, she had a good turn of foot.” 

A 3-year-old daughter of Ransom The Moon-Terri’s Pass, the dark bay is now 5-0-1 from seven starts on the year and 8-0-2 from 17 career races. 

Canadian Sweetheart and jockey Leo Salles winning the Sweet Briar Too stakes on August 19, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)
Canadian Sweetheart and jockey Leo Salles winning the Sweet Briar Too stakes on August 19, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)

It was also the first stakes victory for Canadiansweetheart, whose only other stakes appearance came in the Fury Stakes in June when she was seventh. 

Lafond, whose other stakes victory came in the 2012 Ruling Angel with Silent Serenity, praised his filly’s huge performance. 

“When I first got her, she was very, very hyper,” said Lafond, who claimed Canadiansweetheart this spring for $25,000. “I had to get to relax a little bit. I accomplished that part, getting her to learn to relax and chill, and I thought she would go long, but she gets tired. I will try it later on, but not now. I’m quite happy. We did it. Here we are. I hope tomorrow is the same result.” 

Added Manohar, “She always gives us 100 per cent when she runs. She has such a big heart. She’s just like us. We’re underdogs, we’re young and we’re trying. Today, she proved the underdog can always win too.” 

On Sunday, the connections will look to duplicate that success in the King’s Plate with Morstachy’s. 

“We are the same team and I think we are going into the race with a little luck,” offered Salles.  

Canadiansweetheart paid $75.70. 

War Bomber (IRE) impressive in Grade 2 King Edward Stakes

TORONTO, August 19, 2023 – Irish-bred War Bomber struck front in early stretch and then held off a game Treason to take Saturday’s $200,000 King Edward Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine.  

A one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward, the King Edward went postward with nine starters after the scratches of Town Cruise and Haddassah.  

Treason, the 5-2 second choice, was sent to the front by leading rider Kazushi Kimura, as Rico Walcott and War Bomber patiently tracked the pacesetter from in second, followed by the duo of Shirl’s Speight and The Minkster. 

Ahead 2 ½ lengths after an opening panel in :23.53, Treason extended that advantage over War Bomber to three lengths through a half in :45.63. 

Still well ahead of their rivals as they rounded the turn for home, multiple stakes-winning War Bomber came calling to Treason’s outside, setting the stage for a thrilling stretch duel. After powering by Treason past the three-sixteenths, War Bomber appeared en route to a comfortable win, but the former fought back along the inside in the final strides. 

At the finish, War Bomber was a neck in front. Lucky Score was third and multiple graded stakes winner, 9-5 choice Shirl’s Speight, was fourth.

The final time over “firm” ground was 1:32.41.

War Bomber (IRE) and jockey Rico Walcott winning the King Edward Stakes on August 19, 2023 (Michael Burns Photo)
War Bomber (IRE) and jockey Rico Walcott winning the King Edward Stakes on August 19, 2023 (Michael Burns Photo)

“I was going to play it by the break,” said Walcott, who will ride Kaukokaipuu in tomorrow’s King’s Plate. “I break on top and then I see another horse (Treason) want to go for the lead, so I just take my horse back a little and sit behind the speed and just wait for the right time to move. At the head of the lane when I asked him, he gave me all he had. It was a good finish. I enjoy it when I cross the line first.”

It was the seventh win from 19 starts for War Bomber, the 5-year-old son of War Front-Sun Shower (IRE), whose victories include last year’s Seagram Cup (G3). Bred by Coolmore, the bay gelding is trained by Norm McKnight.    

“He’s versatile,” said Bruno Schickedanz, Canada’s champion owner of 2022. “To me, I don’t know where he’s better. He’s good on both surfaces.” 

War Bomber, who contested last year’s Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1T), could take another shot at the $1 million turf classic on September 16 at Woodbine.

“Who knows? We’ll talk about it and think about it,” offered Schickedanz.  

War Bomber returned $14.90 for the win.

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms 

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