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Jesse Campbell and Decision Day head to the winner's circle with trainer Josie Carroll 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 compete the Coronation-Plate double was Norcliffe in 1975-76. Conditions were typical for late November in Toronto, with overcast skies, temperatures in the high 30's, and wind gusts up to 19 miles per hour.
Decision Day (rail) holds off Nipigon (outside).
Jockey Omar Moreno sent 51-1 Cordova to the lead first time past the stands and he set easy fractions of 24.69 and 49.90 while pressed by 7-1 Decision Day and 29-1 Samuel Dechamplain. On the far turn, Cordova tired allowing Decision Day to inherit the lead through 3/4 in 1:15.27. 15-1 Nipigon, fifth early, moved up to challenge as Decision Day clicked off the mile in 1:40.02. The pair battled to the line but Decision Day outfinished Nipigon by a hard-fought head in 1:52.50. It was another 1 1/4 length back to late-running favorite Shez A Masterpiece third.
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. Winning trainer Josie Carroll said, "He still has a lot of growing up to do. If you look at him, he's still kind of leggy and gangly and mentally he hasn't really figured things out, but he's on his way."
Right: Decision Day returns after the race. Winning jockey Jesse Campbell said, "I worked him twice. The connections made a bit change and he's been going very nice with the new bit. I thought if he broke clean, we'd be close up. I didn't think we'd be on the lead, but I knew we were going slow and he was a real live horse so I just let him be happy. The last thing I wanted to do was get him behind a slow pace and get too tricky about it. I knew he could get the distance so it made those decisions a little easier. Great job by the barn to have him ready. It was really nice to see this horse grow up. When he won his maiden race he was quite green, but he really let me get into him down the lane and he fought hard."
Left: Second place finisher Nipigon in the post parade. The 15-1 shot rated 2 lengths off the pace in 5th early under regular rider Steven Bahen, bid for the lead in midstretch but was outfinished in the duel. The Rachel Halden trainee improved his record to 1 win and 2 seconds in 3 starts, earning $75,828 for owner-breeder Chiefswood Stable.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Shez a Masterpiece returns after the race. The 2-1 favorite rated 4 lengths off the pace in 6th under regular rider Patrick Husbands, launched a strong rally into the lane but finished 1 1/4 lengths behind the lead pair. The Mark Casse trainee improved her record to 1 win, 1 second, and 3 thirds in 5 starts, earning $119,414 for owner Gary Barber.
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