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2023 Highlander Stakes Day


Lucky Score heads to the winner's circle after the Highlander Stakes.
Date: 7/01/2023

There were five graded stakes at Woodbine on Saturday, billed as the Canada Day Racing Festival, headlined by the $200,000 Highlander Stakes (G2) for older horses sprinting 6 furlongs on the main E.P. Taylor turf course. Despite poor air quality from forest fires in northern Ontario and Quebec, conditions were excellent early in the card with partly cloudy skies and a temperature of 28 C (82.4 F) with the turf courses rated firm but later in the card, heavy rain rolled in, downgrading the turf to yielding for the Nassau Stakes. After Silent Poet scratched, One Timer was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 9 off a handicap win at Belterra Park in June after winning the Franklin-Simpson (G2) at Kentucky Downs in September. In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Outlaw Kid off a Belmont allowance, and 9-2 third choice Masseto off a 2 race win streak in Woodbine allowance company.

Lucky Score rallies down the center in the stretch.

19-1 Cadamosto and Outlaw Kid dueled for the early lead through an opening quarter of 22.01 stalked by One Timer. One Timer took over at the top of the lane through a half in 44.24. In the stretch One Timer opened a length advantage through 5f in 55.71 but 14-1 Lucky Score, last early under Sahid Civaci after a poor start, came out 5 wide for room and outfinished fellow closer 9-1 Oceanic to win by 1/2 a length in 1:07.86 over the firm going. It was another 3/4 length back to favorite One Timer third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey              Win   Place  Show
 5   Lucky Score        Civaci            30.60   11.40  6.20
 6   Oceanic            Gutierrez                 11.90  8.00
10   One Timer          Hernandez                        3.60
  	 
Winning Time:  1:07.86

$1 Exacta 5-6               145.45
$2 Trifecta 5-6-10        1,455.80
$2 Superfecta 5-6-10-3   14,576.40
Results chart

Left: Lucky Score in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Sahin Civaci said, "He's a horse that comes off the pace. It takes him a while to get rolling and luckily there was a lot of speed up front today so that helped a lot."

Right: Lucky Score in the post parade. Civaci added, "It was just about finding the right position and a clear path getting to the wire before they get there. I had a lot of horse. I just needed to get after him a little bit and I saw that (Oceanic) was fighting back. He kicked on and he fought good, so we got up front."

Left: Second place finisher Oceanic in the paddock before the race. The Jordan Blair trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 3 thirds in 24 starts, earning $338,186 for owner Surfside Stables.

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite One Timer returns after the race. The Larry Rivelli trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 10 starts, earning $604,210 for owners Patricia's Hope LLC and Richard Ravin.



Turf King wins the Marine Stakes (G3)
Kicking off the Saturday stakes quintet, the $150,000 Marine Stakes (G3) features three-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta main track. This is considered a major prep for the Queen's Plate however as a graded stake it is not restricted to Canadian-breds. Jersey Derby third place finisher Turf King was sent off as the even-money choice in the field of 8 over 11-2 second choice Midnight Rising, sixth in the Caesars Handicap at Horseshoe Indianapolis, and 13-2 third choice Kaukokaipuu, winner of the Queenston Stakes.

Jockey Luis Contreras sent 8-1 One Bay Hemingway to the lead first time by through fractions of 24.11, 48.22, and 1:12.47 while pressed by 21-1 longest shot Velocitor and stalked by 19-1 Stayhonor Goodside. Turning for home One Bay Hemingway tired as Kaukokaipuu inherited the lead from fourth through a mile in 1:37.10. Turf King, fifth early under Kazushi Kimura, came up along the inside, was bumped by Kaukokaipuu inside the 1/8 pole but edged away late to win by 1/2 a length in 1:43.41. It was another 3 lengths back to Midnight Rising third.

Results chart

Left: Turf King in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Kazushi Kimura said, "When we're battling each other, that horse (Kaikokapuuu), bumped into my horse, but my horse showed me some guts and hung in there."

Right: Turf King in the paddock before the race. Kimura added, "I would say that this is just the beginning, and I am very appreciative of Mr. (Chad, trainer) Brown for giving me this opportunity."

Left: Second place finisher Kaukokaipuu in the post parade. The Tedston Holder trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 7 seconds, and 0 thirds in 11 starts, earning $224,413 for owner Culpepper Island Syndicate.

Right: Third place finisher Midnight Rising in the paddock before the race. The Jordan Blair trainee improved his record to 1 wins, 0 seconds, and 2 thirds in 5 starts, earning $76,836 for owner Surfside Stables.


The horses break from the gate for the Marine Stakes.



Solo Album wins the Selene Stakes (G3)
The $150,000 Selene Stakes (G3) featured a field of 9 three-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta. It is considered a major prep for the Woodbine Oaks but like the Marine, is not restricted to Canadian breds. Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Wonder Wheel was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the field of 9 off her disappointing 9th place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Honor D Lady, third in the Martha Washington at Gulfstream, and 7-1 third choice Be My Sunshine off second place finishes in allowance company at Gulfstream and Keeneland.

Jockey Kazushi Kimura sent Be My Sunshine to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.72, 47.14, and 1:11.20 while pressed by 44-1 Dolce Sopresa and stalked by 85-1 longest shot Speed Trap and favorite Wonder Wheel. Turning for home the pacesetters tired as 19-2 fourth choice Solo Album, 6th early, swept to the lead 5 wide through 1 mile in 1:36.45. Kept to task by Sahin Civaci, Solo Album drew off late despite drifting out to win by 6 1/4 lengths over Honor D Lady in 1:42.65. It was another 1/2 length back to 45-1 Tito's Calling third, while Wonder Wheel was 4th early but showed no response when asked by Patrick Husbands, finishing 8th beaten 21 3/4 lengths.

Results chart

Left: Solo Album in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Sahin Civaci said, "Before, in the paddock, Mr. Casse called and told me not to go to the front, there's going to be some speed up there, lay up close though, so that's what we did. I saw Wonder Wheel getting boxed in a bit, but (Patrick Husbands riding Wonder Wheel) managed to get out and I was sitting there outside of him, I was waiting for him to move.

Right: Solo Album gets hosed off after the race. Civaci added, "When I saw he wasn't having much horse, I did make that move just to save up ground and not get caught out wide. While she was in the momentum, I just kept her with her momentum and she finished up really strong."

Left: Second place finisher Honor D Lady returns after the race. The Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 6 starts, earning $122,167 for owners Final Furlong Farm and Madaket Stables.

Right: Third place finisher Tito's Calling walks over before the race. The Ross Armata Jr. trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 9 starts, earning $117,413 for owner Zilli Racing Stables.

Left: Eighth place finisher and beaten favorite Wonder Wheel returns after the race. The Mark Casse trainee has a record of 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 9 starts, earning $1,591,857 for owner D.J. Stable.

Right: The horses break from the gate for the Selene Stakes.



Tyson wins the Dominion Day Stakes (G3)
The $150,000 Dominion Day Stakes (G3), traditionally run on Canada Day, featured a field of 9 older horses going 1 1/8 miles on the Tapeta. Eclipse Stakes (G2) winner Treason was sent off as the 3-2 favorite over 4-1 second choice Tyson, third in the Eclipse, and 5-1 third choice Golden Glider, unraced since winning the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream in December.

As heavy rain fell, 7-1 fourth choice Carrothers and 15-1 War Bomber dueled for the early lead first time by and around the clubhouse turn through fractions of 23.73 and 47.63 while stalked by 15-1 Duke of Love and 17-1 Artie's Storm. On the far turn War Bomber led through 3/4 in 1:11.17 before tiring in the stretch. Treason, 6th early, came out 6 wide to lead through 1 mile in 1:35.90 but Tyson, 7th early under Rafael Hernandez, was 7 wide into the lane and rallied to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:48.32, just 0.08 seconds off the track record. It was a long 5 3/4 lengths back to 28-1 longest shot Gaston third.

Results chart

Left: Tyson in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Josie Carroll said, "Tough trip for a great big horse. He's got a great big, long stride of a horse. He's in tight, he's in trouble, he's getting shuffled around, he just keeps sitting and sitting until he can get him out of there. Everything that could go wrong with him went wrong."

Right: Tyson heads out to the track before the race. Carroll added, "When he got out [today], he just fired. He was closing strongly in his last stakes, and I really expected a big race from him today. He's been waiting for the chance to use that big stride and he just takes off."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Treason returns after the race. The Josie Carroll trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 8 starts, earning $196,277 for owners LNJ Foxwoods and MSK Racing Ventures.

Right: Third place finisher Gaston in the paddock before the race. The Kevin Attard trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 9 starts, earning $184,311 for owners X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables, and SF Racing.



Fev Rover wins the Nassau Stakes (G2)
The $175,000 Nassau Stakes (G2) featured a field of 9 older fillies and mares going 1 mile around one turn of the E.P. Taylor turf course. Last year's Queen's Plate winner and 2022 Canadian Horse of the Year Moira was sent off as the 9-10 favorite off her close second in the Belle Mahone (G3) after disappointing in 5th in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1). In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Fev Rover, unraced since third in the E.P. Taylor (G1) in October, and 15-2 third choice Millie Girl, third in the Royal North (G2).

18-1 Sister Lou Ann and 9-1 Scotish Star dueled down the backstretch through opening fractions of 24.34 and 48.50 over the yielding course while pressed by 14-1 Sweet Enough and Moira. Entering the stretch Scotish Star gained the lead through 3/4 in 1:13.46. Fev Rover, last early under Patrick Husbands, came through an opening 5 wide at the 3/16 pole and drew off late to win by 4 1/4 lengths over favorite Moira in 1:40.03. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Millie Girl third.

Results chart

Left: Fev Rover in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Patrick Husbands said, "I was on the best side of the track on the wide outside and those guys keep on rolling, rolling, rolling. My horse enjoyed it on the wide outside. I'm just thinking just cut corners, cut corners, then open her up."

Right: Fev Rover gets hosed off after the race. Husbands added, "You get to ride good horses, they make you look good. You can do what you want to do. The race went well for me and I'm happy for Mark and the owner (Tracy Farmer)."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Moira crosses the finish line. The Kevin Attard trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 0 thirds in 9 starts, earning $1,027,196 for owners X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables, and SF Racing.

Right: Third place finisher Millie Girl returns after the race. The Catherine Day Phillips trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 1 second, and 3 thirds in 7 starts, earning $177,311 for owners Kingfield Racing Stable, Braconcrest Inc., and Apricot Valley Thoroughbreds.

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