Volga the winner of the E.P. Taylor Stakes with Richard Migliore up.
The companion event for the distaffers on Canadian International day is the Grade 1, $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes. Ten fillies and mares went to post in this event, with Waltzerkoenigin sent off as the lukewarm 2.35-1 favorite.
Leading the way for the first mile was Canadian Stakes winner Inish Glora, who took the field through slow initial fractions of 26.13, 50.78, 1:15.58, and 1:40.89 for the mile over the soft course, with 28-1 longshot Heyahohowdy stalking her the whole way. Turning for home, those two gave way to the closers. 3-1 chance Hi Dubai, who kept up with the pace in fourth early, made her move and got the lead with a furlong to go. But late runners 10-1 Volga and 9-1 Tigertail were coming on strong and the trio hit the line together, stopping the clock in 2:05.68 for the 1 1/4 miles. When the results were put up, jockey Richard Migliore got Volga to the wire first by a head over Tigertail, who was just a nose ahead of Hi Dubai, and she was just a head in front of another 9-1 shot, Mer de Corail in fourth. Favored Walzerkoenigin finished fifth.
Third time was the charm for Volga, who was second two years ago in a similar blanket finish, and was third last year. Winning jockey Richard Migliore said, "It was really close. I didn't know if we had won or not. I rode with my head down through the wire. I thought maybe [Tigertail] had nailed us. But she [Volga] ran very game and fought hard all through the stretch. Kiaran [trainer McLaughlin] has been a tremendous supporter of mine for a number of years and every time I ride a horse for him, I have the utmost confidence because he sends them out ready."
Purse: $750,000 Distance: 1 1/4 miles Turf Fillies & Mares
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 10 Volga Migliore 22.90 10.50 7.00 7 Tigertail Blanc 10.90 5.90 4 Hi Dubai Dettori 3.40
Volga makes her way to the winner's circle. Owner Joseph Allen said, "It's a wonderful day. I need to really thank Kiaran for this. It was his idea to come up here. She had run only two weeks ago. Maybe I'm a lot more conservative, I don't know. But I'm glad he came. The third time was a charm here. She's five. She'll definitely be bred next year. We may get another race or two into her. But I just want to enjoy this one right now."
Second place finisher Tigertail in the post parade. This was her first start in North America after racing all over Europe.
Third place finisher Hi Dubai in the walking ring. This was also her first North American start for the powerhouse Godolphin team.
Two other stakes races were on the Canadian International undercard. Earliest in the card was the Grade 3 Highlander Handicap for sprinters going 6 furlongs on the main track. 5-2 second choice Forever Grand rallied from last to first in the final furlong to win going way by 1 1/2 lengths over 4-1 shot Sophia's Prince. It was another neck back to 3-2 favorite Mulligan the Great in third. The time for the six furlongs was 1:09.53 over a muddy but sealed track. Winning jockey Todd Kabel said, "When he comes to run, he shows up and he runs hard. My only concern was the off track. I've ridden him twice before and he didn't handle it. But he's a different horse right now." Owner Frank DiGiulio Jr. added, "He's got a wicked kick. It would be tough to match him as top sprinter this year, but I could be biased."
Results chart Race 3
Closing out the busy day of racing was the inaugural running of the Chief Bearhart Stakes for older horses going 1 1/4 miles on the turf course. 7-1 fourth choice Colorful Judgement stalked the pace saving ground under jockey Slade Callaghan, then advanced along the rail down the stretch to get the lead at the 3/16 pole, holding off the late run of 9-4 favorite and Sam-Son Farms stablemate Puffer by 1 1/2 lengths. It was another 1/2 length back to 4-1 second choice Stage Classic in third. The time for the 1 1/4 miles on the yielding turf course was 2:07.47.
Results chart Race 10
Canadian International Results
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