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Jockey Javier Castellano celebrates aboard Fev Rover after the E.P. Taylor Stakes
The distaff counterpart to the Canadian International, run about an hour before the main event, is the $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1) for older fillies and mares also going 1 1/4 miles on the Taylor course at Woodbine. Conditions were typical for Thanksgiving weekend in Southern Ontario, with overcast skies, passing showers, and a race time temperature of 7.4 C (45.3 F). Recent rains downgraded the course to yielding.
A field of 10 made final entry, with 2022 Canadian Horse of the Year Moira sent off as the 3-2 favorite off her Canadian Stakes (G2) win after finishing second in the Nassau (G2) and Dance Smartly (G2). In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice With the Moonlight, 6th in the Dahlia (G2) at Newmarket after finishing second in the Jenny Wiley (G1) at Keeneland, and 4-1 third choice Fev Rover, 4th in the Canadian after winning the Beverly D (G1) at Colonial Downs.
Fev Rover leads down the stretch
Jockey Javier Castellano sent Fev Rover to the lead out of the clubhouse turn through easy fractions of 25.66 and 50.29 while pressed by 50-1 Rocky Sky and stalked by 23-1 Skims. Down the backstretch Rocky Sky gained a short lead through 3/4 in 1:14.30 before giving way. Turning for home, Skims took over through 1 mile in 1:38.64 but tired in the lane. Castellano moved Fev Rover out for room and she regained the lead at the 3/16 pole, drawing off late to win by 2 1/4 lengths over With the Moonlight in 2:04.20. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to late-running favorite Moira third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Fev Rover Castellano 10.10 4.80 2.90 4 With the Moonlight Buick 4.00 2.40 6 Moira Hernandez 2.40 Winning Time: 2:04.20 $1 Exacta 1-4 18.60 $2 Trifecta 1-4-6 81.80 $2 Superfecta 1-4-6-3 464.20Results chart
Left: Fev Rover in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "My horse handled (the wet course) very well. I liked the way she did it today. The turf is still in really good shape. It just started to rain a little bit. She put in a good effort. The way the race developed, I didn't expect it to be that way. I expected to be on the lead, galloping along. I felt a lot of pressure outside. I tried to ride a smart race and let (Rocky Sky) go to the lead."
Right: The trophy presentation for the E.P. Taylor Stakes.
Left: Fev Rover in the paddock before the race.
Right: Fev Rover heads back to the barn after the race.
Left: Second place finisher With the Moonlight returns after the race. The Charlie Appleby trainee improved her record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 1 third in 14 starts, earning $1,025,908 for owner-breeder Godolphin.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Moira walks over before the race. The Kevin Attard trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 4 seconds and 1 third in 12 starts, earning $1,233,999 for owners X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables, and SF Racing.
Big Invasion wins the Nearctic Stakes (G2)
Jockey Kazushi Kimura sent 15-2 fourth choice Masen to the early lead through fractions of 22.32 and 45.53 while pressed by 8-1 Remuda and stalked by 104-1 Rockcrest. Turning for home, Rockcrest gained a short lead through 5f in 57.81. However, in deep stretch a cavalry charge ensued with favorite Big Invasion under Dylan Davis prevailing by a head over late-closing Lucky Score in 1:11.31. It was another head back to 12-1 Ice Chocolat third. The first 8 finishers were within 3/4 length of the winner!
Left: Big Invasion in the winner's circle. Christophe Lorieul, assistant to winning trainer Christophe Clement said, "He's a cool horse and he's got natural speed. The question we had today was the ground. We were not sure about the ground, but he was pure class. He is a top-class horse and today proved that even on that kind of ground he can be effective."
Right: Big Invasion heads back to the barn after the race.
Left: Big Invasion heads out to the track before the race.
Right: Big Invasion returns after the race. Winning jockey Dylan Davis said, "He handled the ground well, that was no question. I had to settle on into the two-path into the turn and back out. He responded great for us and fought tooth and nail to the wire. I love him. I've been watching him all year round in New York and in Florida, he's a nice, big, strong horse."
Left: Second place finisher Lucky Score heads out to the track before the race. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 5 thirds in 19 starts, earning $605,150 for owners Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable, and Gary Barber.
Right: Third place finisher Ice Chocolat returns after the race. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 5 seconds, and 3 thirds in 20 starts, earning $269,795 for owners Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, and Peter Deutsch.
At the finish line with eight horses within 3/4 lengths of the winner! The spacing behind the winner (center #11) was head - head - nose - head - head - nose - neck.
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