TORONTO, September 14, 2019 – Yorkton, under a smart ride from Patrick Husbands, made it back-to-back wins in the $125,000 Grade 3 Bold Venture Stakes, at Woodbine on Saturday.
Trained by Stuart Simon for owner/breeder Chiefswood Stable, Yorkton not only took his second straight Bold Venture crown, but also won his first race since an authoritative 5 ¼-length triumph in last year’s edition of the six-and-a-half main track event for three-year-olds and upward.
While there was no late-race drama on Saturday, there was certainly some at the outset.
Husbands and Yorkton, from the outside post seven, took command soon after the start, while Pink Lloyd, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2017, came out awkwardly, and was subsequently deemed to have had an unfair start.
Yorkton and Husbands held a one-length advantage over Tringale through an opening quarter-mile timed in :21.68. Still comfortably front after a half-mile in :44.29, the pair braced for the challenge of several closers, namely, Ikerrin Road and Curlin’s Honor, as the field straightened for home.
At the wire, Yorkton, held on for a neck score over Ikerrin Road (winner of the 2017 race), while Curlin’s Honor was three-quarters of a length back in third. Pink Lloyd crossed the wire fourth, but was declared a non-starter.
Husbands, aboard Yorkton for the first time in race action, was thrilled to get the mount.
“Actually, I breezed him his last few breezes and my head was so big you know,” said the veteran rider, who has come back strong after serious injuries suffered last season. “Not being cocky, you still have to show respect for the other horses in there, especially Pink Lloyd, but the last time I breezed him I said…this is what I call a steal job. He’s naturally fast and he’s a horse that every jockey wants to ride, a fast horse.
“When I got to the wire (I realized I had enough to get there). I’m happy and proud to be a part of this whole organization. I’m just blessed. I’m happy to be back here and enjoying my year.”
Simon, who has over 800 career wins, was pleased to see his veteran star make a return trip to the winner’s circle.
“I’m really not (surprised by the outcome),” he offered. “He had some things go wrong all the way along earlier this year. He grabbed a quarter really bad in his last race and, talking it over with the guys, we wanted to totally regroup and start over kind of with him and the horse has just been training out of this world. He’s just in good order. He’s a nice horse when he’s right.”
The five-year-old son of Speightstown came into the Bold Venture off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Highlander Stakes, contested on June 29 at Woodbine.
With today’s win, the bay now has seven wins, two seconds, and a third in 24 career starts.
It was Husbands’ fifth Bold Venture victory. He teamed with One Way Love to take the 1999 and 2000 editions, Sambuca On Ice in 2002, and Puntrooskie in 2016.
Yorkton paid $4.80, $3.70 and $2.30, combining with Ikerrin Road ($6.10, $3310) for a $38.30 (7-6) exactor. A 7-6-1 triactor (Curlin’s Honor, $2.10 to show) was worth $51.10. A $1 superfecta [7-6-1-4], rounded out by Sable Island, came back $103.65.