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Jim McAleney and Decision Day head to the winner's circle after the Coronation Futurity.
The $250,000 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine is the premier race for Canadian-bred juveniles, having a strong influence on Sovereign Award voting for champion 2-year-old male as well as determining the early favorites for next year's Queen's Plate. However the last horse to win the Coronation Futurity and then the Plate was Norcliffe in 1975-76. Despite rain and high winds forecast all day, the race was run under dry conditions with a dark overcast sky, a light breeze, and temperatures in the mid-50's, unusually warm for mid-November in Toronto.
Decision Day leads down the stretch with Nipigon on the rail and Shez a Masterpiece on the outside.
Jockey Jesse Campbell sent 10-1 Heart to Heart to a 2 length lead first time past the stands and he set fractions of 24.41, 49.03, and 1:13.61 while stalked by 9-1 fourth choice Decision Day, in turn 1 1/2 lengths ahead of 23-1 Nipigon. Entering the stretch, Heart to heart tired allowing Decision Day to inherit the lead through 1 mile in 1:38.17. Kept to task by jockey Jim McAleney, Decision Day held off Nipigon by a length for the win in 1:50.96. It was just 1/2 a length back to late-running Shez a Masterpiece third. Favorite Ami's Holiday finished 5th but was disqualified to last for interference when he angled out into Matador at the 1/4 pole.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Decision Day Campbell 17.40 8.60 5.10 1 Nipigon Bahen 12.60 7.50 2 Shez a Masterpiece Husbands 3.30 Winning Time: 1:52.50 $2 Exacta 3-1 126.30 $2 Trifecta 3-1-2 314.60 $1 Superfecta 3-1-2-4 635.15
Left: Decision Day in the winner's circle.
Right: Decision Day in the post parade.
Left: Second place finisher Nipigon heads into the paddock.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Shez a Masterpiece returns after the race.
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Right: Third place finisher Man O'Bear returns after the race. Trainer Reade Baker, who also trains the winner, said, "Man o' Bear got backed away at the start and I still think Man o' Bear might be able to beat (Asserting Bear)."
Trainer Reade Baker, who swept both stakes at Woodbine this weekend, said, "We thought she was alright in the spring and then she seemed to tail off. I don't know if it's as simple as putting blinkers on, but when we put the blinkers on it's certainly night and day." Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson added, "I thought there would be a little bit of pace in there, and that's the way the race unfolded. She made up some ground and put her and myself in a nice position through the turn. I just had to squeeze through a tight hole to get up there, but she's pretty game."