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San Gabriel/Santa Ynez
Trainer Josie Carroll leads Ami's Holiday to the winner's circle.
The $500,000 Breeders' Stakes is the third and final race of Canada's Triple Crown restricted to 3-year-olds foaled in Canada. A field of 12 contested the 123rd renewal of this 1 1/2 mile classic, one complete lap of the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on Sunday afternoon. The turf had a GoingStick reading of 11.4 (firm) and the weather was beautiful with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70's. Unfortunately, neither Queen's Plate winner Lexie Lou nor Prince of Wales Stakes winner Coltimus Prime was entered, meaning this year the three races will have three different winners. Unikat was sent off as the 2-1 favorite off his maiden win in a 1 1/4 mile turf event here. Ami's Holiday, the only horse in the field to compete in all three Triple Crown races, was the 5-2 second choice off his 2nd place finish in the Plate and third in the Prince of Wales. The rest of the field was at double digit odds, with Squeeze the King as the 11-1 third choice off a maiden win in a 1 1/16 mile turf race.
Ami's Holiday leads in the stretch.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Ami's Holiday Contreras 9.80 3.80 2.80 12 Interpol Campbell 11.50 8.40 4 Squeeze the King Rosa da Silva 6.40 Winning Time: 2:30.12 $2 Exacta 8-12 113.20 $1 Trifecta 8-12-4 395.70 $1 Superfecta 8-12-4-7 3,868.90
Left: Ami's Holiday in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Josie Carroll, celebrating her first Breeders' Stakes win said, "I think it speaks a lot for this horse. We talk a lot about horses not having the constitution that they used to, but this is the culmination of a breeding program by Mr. Dalos interjecting stamina into a race horse. He was a little tired after the Prince of Wales, shipping down (to Fort Erie), shipping home. He just lit it up (in his turf work). He just came to life."
Right: Jockey Luis Contreras, owner-breeder Ivan Dalos, and trainer Josie Carroll pose with the Breeders' Stakes trophy. Dalos said, "He just needed a clean ride once to do it and finally he got one." Dalos also bred 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop, who is Ami's Holiday's damsire.
Left: Ami's Holiday behind the starting gate. Winning jockey Luis Contreras, celebrating his second Breeders' Stakes win, said, "Third time was the good one. I'm so happy with this horse. He just does a tremendous job all the time. I got a pretty clean trip. I was sitting behind the speed, I wanted to keep him with the other horses to keep him busy. I know my horse is very brave, he's been in trouble before. He was going great (when we came between the other horses). He just galloped. He had a tremendous kick at the end."
Right: Ami's Holiday in the paddock before the race.
Left: Second place finisher Interpol returns after the race. Jockey Jesse Campbell said, "It was a perfect trip. He broke clean. He was forwardly placed and got to cruising to a nice spot, third, on the outside. He was a little rank at first, but on the backside he relaxed. He ran huge. He was getting tired in the end, but he kept hanging in there. He ran so hard. You have to be proud of him. The best horse won the race. I'm tickled to run second."
Right: Third place finisher Squeeze the King behind the starting gate. The 11-1 third choice tracked the pace in fourth under new jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva, gained the lead on the far turn but was no match for the first two, beaten 2 lengths at the line. The Brian Lynch trainee improved his record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $79,312 for owner-breeder J. M. Stritzl Stables.
Left: Last place finisher and beaten favorite Unikat in the paddock before the race. The 2-1 favorite sat in midpack 3 lengths off the pace early under regular rider David Moran, came out 4 wide for room into the stretch but faded badly to last, 27 3/4 lengths back of the winner. The Brian Lynch trainee has a record of 1 win, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 4 starts, earning $36,067 for owner-breeder Stronach Stables/Adena Springs.
Right: Down the stretch in the Breeders' Stakes.
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