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2023 Kennedy Road Stakes Results

Kazushi Kimura celebrates aboard Flag of Honour with trainer Julia Carey after winning the Kennedy Road Stakes
Date: 11/18/2023

With just 4 weeks remaining in the Woodbine Thoroughbred season and turf racing already ended, there are few stakes opportunities left to convince the Sovereign Award voters, as many of the top stables have begun to ship south for the winter. The last Grade 2 stakes in Canada for 2023 was the $175,000 Kennedy Road Stakes (G2) for older horses sprinting 6 furlongs on the Tapeta main track, a race which factors in Sovereign voting in the male sprinter category. Conditions were typical for mid-October in Toronto with partly cloudy skies and a race time temperature of 6.8 C (44.2 F), with fields facing a 32 km/h (20 MPH) headwind through the stretch.

After Sky's Not Falling and War Bomber scratched, a field of 8 went to post with last year's runner-up Ice Chocolat sent off as the lukewarm 2-1 favorite off his close third place finish in the Nearctic Stakes (G2) after disappointing in 5th in the Woodbine Mile (G1). In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Patches O'Houlihan, undefeated in 6 starts this year including the Bold Venture (G3) and Vigil (G3), and 7-2 third choice Dream Shake, winner of the Connaught Cup (G2) but 9th in the Ainsworth Turf Sprint (G2) at Kentucky Downs and then 5th in the Nearctic.

Flag Of Honour leads in the stretch.

Jockey Shane Ellis sent 24-1 longest shot Jazz Hands to the lead exiting the chute through fractions of 21.73 and 43.85 while pressed by 12-1 Maclean's Posse and stalked by 6-1 fourth choice Flag of Honour and Patches O'Houlihan. Turning for home, jockey Kazushi Kimura sent Flag of Honour through an opening on the rail to gain a short lead through 5f in 56.25. Favorite Ice Chocolat, 6th early under Sahin Civaci, put in a strong 5 wide rally but Flag of Honour held him off to win by a nose in 1:08.86. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to late-running Dream Shake third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
 2   Flag Of Honour     Kimura          14.30    5.70  3.60
10   Ice Chocolat       Civaci                   3.10  2.50
 3   Dream Shake        Hernandez                      3.10

Winning Time:  1:08.86

$1 Exacta 2-10                18.65
$2 Trifecta 2-10-3           161.90
$2 Superfecta 2-10-3-8       929.40
Results chart

Left: Flag Of Honour in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Kazushi Kimura said, "I knew everybody would rush out at the beginning. I got to sit right behind the front runners. It was a great trip. I knew I had a ton of horse from the corner. As soon as we (found) room (on the rail), he exploded from there." Kimura replaced regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson who was injured in a spill on November 2.

Right: Flag Of Honour's connections pose with the trophy. Winning trainer Julia Carey said, "He got a lot out of (his Canadian debut on October 29 after shipping from Australia, finished 3rdin an allowance) as you can see. He was probably a few works short for that race but I had to run him or I couldn't get into this race. This was the ultimate goal. I believe he had the one-hole and there was quite a big field. He was standing in [the gate] for a while and he kind of got impatient. He kind of swung his head he has this big noggin on him and they sprung the latch and he wasn't ready."

Left: Flag Of Honour walks over from the barn to the paddock. Carey added, "I'm not sure what we're going to do yet. Well have to talk to the owners and the manager (about next race) and see what we are going to do. But this is awful exciting. Im just going to enjoy this right now."

Right: Flag Of Honour in the post parade.

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Ice Chocolat in the post parade. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 6 seconds, and 3 thirds in 21 starts, earning $295,304 for owners Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, and Peter Deutch.

Right: Third place finisher Dream Shake in the indoor paddock. The Mike Stidham trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 3 thirds in 15 starts, earning $493,010 for owners Exline-Border Racing, Peter Eurton, Richard Hausmann, and Stonestreet Stables.

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