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2011 Dominion Day and Sweet Briar Too Stakes

Don Cavallo heads to the winner's circle after the Dominion Day Stakes.

Date: 07/01/11

The traditional stakes event on Canada Day at Woodbine is the $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes (G3), featuring the top older horses on the grounds going the classic distance of 1 1/4 miles on the Polytrack. Conditions were excellent, with minimal wind, sunny skies, and temperatures in the high 70's. Don Cavallo was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 11, off a close second place finish in the Eclipse Stakes (G3) last out. In to challenge the Roger Attfield trainee include 4-1 second choice Stately Victor, off a distant 11th in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1), and 6-1 third choice Center Divider, an allowance winner at Keeneland last out.

Don Cavallo draws away in the stretch

Jockey Joe Bravo sent 14-1 Longboarder to the lead first time past the stands and he set slow early fractions of 24.47 and 49.32 while being stalked by Don Cavallo 2 lengths behind. Jockey Luis Contreras sent Don Cavallo to challenge for the lead near the end of the backstretch, and the favorite poked his head in front after 3/4 in 1:13.11. On the turn, Don Cavallo opened up on the field, and was 3 lengths ahead at the top of the lane through 1 mile in 1:37.64. 13-2 James Street, 6th early, closed late but Don Cavallo was too far ahead and finished under wraps 3 3/4 lengths in front in 2:03.47. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Stately Victor third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 4   Don Cavallo        Contreras     8.30    3.50  2.60
11   James Street       Husbands              6.20  3.40
 8   Stately Victor     Lebronuez                   2.60

Winning Time:  2:03.47

$2 Exacta 4-11               48.90
$2 Trifecta 4-11-8          154.70
$1 Superfecta 4-11-8-       874.60
Results Chart

Left: Don Cavallo in the winner's circle. Trainer Roger Attfield said, "(Contreras) did a great job riding him, didn't he? I could tell down the backside how easily and strongly he (Don Cavallo) was going. He's a very nice horse. I was very pleased with him and the ride today."

Right: Don Cavallo gets hosed off before heading to the barn.

Left: Don Cavallo in the paddock before the race. The Dominion Day was the chestnut colt's 4th triumph in 5 tries at Woodbine. He won 3 consecutive races at the Toronto oval last year, including a 7 furlong turf contest. He has 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 13 starts, earning $287,225 for owner-breeder Frank Stronach.

Right: Don Cavallo in the post parade.

Left: Second place finisher James Street in the paddock before the race. The 13-2 shot rated 6th 10 lengths off the pace early under jockey Patrick Husbands, then rallied 4 wide to get 2nd beaten 3 3/4 lengths. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third in 12 starts, earning $181,815 for owner-breeder Eugene Melnyk.

Right: Third place finisher Stately Victor in the post parade. The 4-1 second choice raced midpack 5th under jockey Victor Lebron, came out 3 wide for the drive to finish 3rd beaten 6 lengths. The Mike Maker trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 19 starts, earning $676,466 for owners Jack and Thomas F. Conway.

The cavalry charge down the stretch in the Sweet Briar Too Stakes

Earlier in the card, a field of 7 older fillies and mares sprinted 7 furlongs in the $100,000 Sweet Briar Too Stakes. The race marked the 2011 debut of Canada's 2010 Horse of the Year Biofuel, the 9-10 favorite off consecutive wins in the Belle Mahone in August and the Selene (G3) in September. In to challenge her included 2-1 second choice Ariana D, second in both the Whimsical (G3) and Hendrie (G3) Stakes, and 8-1 third choice Amiable Grace, off an allowance win on May 15.

Jockey Patrick Husbands sent 12-1 Resentless to the lead exiting the chute and she set early fractions of 23.52 and 46.82 while as many as 2 1/2 lengths in front of 26-1 longest shot D'wild Beach stalking her in second. Biofuel rated near the back of the field 4 1/2 lengths off the pace. Entering the stretch, Resentless tired badly and faded to last, allowing D'wild Beach to inherit a 1 1/2 length lead through 3/4 in 1:11.27. In deep stretch, Amiable Grace, who was 3rd early, came through between horses to pass D'Wild Beach, with Biofuel closing on the far outside and 9-1 Rashnaa to her inside. Amiable Grace finished 1/2 a length in front in 1:24.03. The photo finish determined that D'Wild Beach hung on for second, nosing out Rashnaa third, who nosed out favorite Biofuel in fourth.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 6   Amiable Grace      Wilson       19.10    8.80  6.50
 3   D'Wild Beach       Pizarro              23.10 12.30
 4   Rashnaa            Contreras                   5.90

Winning Time:  1:24.03

$2 Exacta 6-3               384.50
$2 Trifecta 6-3-4         1,608.50
$1 Superfecta 6-3-4-5     3,273.15
Results Chart

Left: Amiable Grace in the winner's circle. Her jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson said, "I was pretty impressed. Biofuel was coming and I didn't know if we could get there. But I never give up and she just kept on trucking. Those are some tough horses she beat, but she just dug in and fought."

Right: Amiable Grace in the paddock before the race.

Left: Amiable Grace heads for the winner's circle. The Mike Doyle trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 4 seconds, and 1 third in 12 starts, earning $263,882 for owner Windhaven.

Right: Second place finisher D'Wild Beach returns after the race. The 26-1 longest shot stalked the pace second under jockey Tyler Pizarro, gained the lead mid-stretch but could not hold off the winner. The Sid Attard trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 8 starts, earning $140,247 for owners Janice and Veronica Attard.

Left: Third place finisher Rashnaa in the post parade. The 9-1 fourth choice was last out of the chute under jockey Luis Contreras, closed 4 wide on the turn and finished well to get third beaten just 1/2 a length. The Bob Tiller trainee improved her record to 7 wins, 3 seconds, and 6 thirds in 24 starts, earning $318,278 for owner 3 Sons Racing Stable Ltd.

Right: Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Biofuel in the paddock before the race. The 2010 Horse of the Year rated in last 4 1/2 lengths back early under jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva, came out 7 wide for the drive and finished all out to get 4th beaten just 1/2 a length. The Reade Baker trainee has a record of 6 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $763,493 for owner-breeder Brereton Jones.

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