Prince of Wales Stakes
North America Cup
Del Mar Futurity
Del Mar Debutante
Trainer Josie Carroll leads Avie's Flatter with jockey Luis Contreras aboard to the winner's circle after the 2021 Connaught Cup Stakes
The first stakes race on the Woodbine turf for 2021 was the $175,000 Connaught Cup Stakes (G2) featuring older horses sprinting 7 furlongs in a very early prep for the Woodbine Mile (G1). Conditions were excellent at the historic Toronto oval, with partly cloudy skies and a race time temperature of 29 C (84 F). The temporary rail on the E.P. Taylor course was set out in Lane 3 (30 feet out) and the GoingStick reading was 10.4 (good-to-firm).
A field of 8 went to post with Avie's Flatter sent off as the 9-5 favorite off an allowance win in his 2021 debut on June 13 after finishing 4th in the Seagram Cup (G3) last July. In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice Chuck Willis, winner of 4 straight including an overnight handicap at Gulfstream last out, and 4-1 third choice Olympic Runner, 7th in the Seek Again at Belmont.
The stretch run with winner Avie's Flatter in front.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Avie's Flatter Contreras 5.60 3.20 2.50 3 Olympic Runner Hernandez 4.80 3.50 5 Proven Strategies Wilson 8.40 Winning Time: 1:20.99 $1 Exacta 1-3 11.80 $1 Trifecta 1-3-5 109.05 $1 Superfecta 1-3-5-6 525.10Full results chart from DRF
Left: Avie's Flatter in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Josie Carroll said, "That's what's really nice about him – we do have those options (to run on either turf or Tapeta) I think we'll just see how things develop and try and place him in the best spots we can."
Right: Avie's Flatter heads back to the barn after the race. Carroll added, "This is a really special horse and it's very exciting for us because he's finally come back to himself. He had a bit of an off year last year and he's just a monster this year. He's so happy. We came into this race very confident but respectful of the kind of horses that were in here."
Left: Avie's Flatter walks over before the race. Winning jockey Luis Contreras said, "I got a great trip. He broke really sharp and I just wanted to sit behind the speed, and he was just dragging me the whole way. A win is a win and he runs good whatever the surface is."
Right: Avie's Flatter in the post parade.
Left: Second place finisher Olympic Runner returns after the race. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 7 seconds, and 2 thirds in 22 starts, earning $335,553 for owner Gary Barber.
Right: Third place finisher Proven Strategies heads to the track before the race. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 17 starts, earning $247,764 for owners D.J. Stable and Empire Racing Club.
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