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Belmont Derby, Oaks & Sprint
Jockey Eurico Rosa DaSilva celebrates aboard Forte Dei Marmi after winning the Northern Dancer Turf
There are three other graded stakes races on Woodbine Mile day. The co-feature on Sunday was the $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (G1) for older horses going 1 1/2 miles, one complete lap of the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. This event is the major local prep for the Pattison Canadian International (G1) on October 27, which this year lost its Win and You're In status. A field of 7 went to post with last year's third place finisher Forte Dei Marmi as the 9-10 favorite off wins in the Singspiel (G3) and Sky Classic (G2). In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Stormy Len, second in the Secretariat (G1) at Arlington last out, and 5-1 third choice Hampstead Heath, second in both the Nijinsky (G2) and Sky Classic (G2).
Down the stretch with Forte Dei Marmi leading.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Forte Dei Marmi Da Silva 3.80 2.70 2.10 5 Perfect Timber Velazquez 7.40 4.40 6 Stormy Len Gomez 3.20 Winning Time: 2:28.46 $2 Exacta 2-5 30.50 $2 Trifecta 2-5-6 119.70 $1 Superfecta 2-5-6-3 307.45
Left: Forte Dei Marmi in the winner's circle. Trainer Roger Attfield said, "He's at the best he's ever been. He's done it now three times in a row in three different situations. He's a tough little horse and the way he is right now, he's tough to beat. We gave him a good run down the lane with my other horse (Perfect Timber)."
Right: Forte Dei Marmi gets hosed off after the race.
Left: Forte Dei Marmi in the paddock before the race. The win gives the 7-year-old gelding his first Grade 1 victory and makes him racing's newest millionnaire, with earnings of $1,026,094 for owner Stella Perdomo. He improved his record to 10 wins, 1 second, and 5 thirds in 32 starts.
Right: Forte Dei Marmi in the post parade.
Left: Second place finisher Perfect Timber behind the starting gate. The 16-1 shot was unhurried 5th early under jockey John Velazquez, rallied late but just missed. The Roger Attfield trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 6 starts, earning $177,597 for owner-breeder Charles Fipke.
Right: Third place finisher Stormy Len returns after the race. The 4-1 second choice contested the pace under jockey Garrett Gomez, but gave way late to finish third beaten 1 length. The David Donk trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 10 starts, earning $261,550 for owners Leonard Leveen and Michael Shanley.
Kicking off the stakes action on Woodbine Mile day was the $300,000 Canadian Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares, and new for this year, is a "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, replacing the E.P. Taylor. Dance Smartly (G2) winner Solid Appeal was sent off as the 5-2 favorite off her 6th place finish in the Beverly D (G1). In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Ladys First, shipping in from England off her win in the Atalanta (G3) at Sandown Park, and 4-1 third choice La Tia, fifth in the Beverly D (G1).
La Tia and Ladys First contested the early pace down the backstretch through fractions of 23.53, 46.53, and 1:10.34 while stalked by Solid Appeal and 11-2 No Explaining. At the top of the lane, 7-1 Minakshi, who was 6th for the first 3/4 mile, swept past the tiring leaders on the outside to gain the front at the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:33.73. 10-1 Colonial Flag, last early, put in a strong rally of her own but Minakshi held her off by 1/2 a length in 1:44.05. It was another 1 3/4 length back to late-running 17-1 Moment of Majesty third, whille favorite Solid Appeal tired late to finish 8th.
Left: Minakshi in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Luis Contreras said, "I got a nice stalking trip. My filly relaxed really nicely for me. Michael (Matz, trainer) told me in the morning that the horse can be on the lead but she relaxes better and she relaxed for me nice. I just angled outside in the 1/4 pole and she just gave me everything and I got more horse at the end."
Right: Minakshi in the post parade. Joy Cooper, assistant to trainer Michael Matz said, "She had a wonderful trip up. She's a bit of a quirky filly so you got to be really patient with her. She has to have the pony in the paddock and you just hope everything goes her way because the switch can flip and she can lose it so it is more so just trying to let things go her way."
Left: Second place finisher Colonial Flag returns after the race. The 10-1 shot was last early under jockey Joe Rocco Jr., then rallied late but just missed. The Michael Matz trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 12 starts, earning $312,080 for owners Skara Glen Stables, William S. Farish, and George Prussin.
Right: Third place finisher Moment of Majesty in the paddock. The 17-1 shot was 8th early under jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson then rallied to get third beaten 2 1/4 lengths. The Roger Attfield trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 7 seconds, and 6 thirds in 27 starts, earning $624,528 for owner Regis Racing.
The $150,000 Ontario Derby (G3) featured a field of 6 three-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the Polytrack. Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2) winner Winning Cause was sent off as the 6-5 favorite off a second place finish in the Dance of Life Stakes at Saratoga. In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice His Race to Win, an allowance winner after finishing sixth in the Queen's Plate, and 6-1 third choice Pyrite Mountain, third in the Breeders' Stakes last out.
Jockey Jesse Campbell sent 10-1 B E Boston Strong to the lead and he set slow fractions of 25.31, 50.59, and 1:14.71 while pressed by 11-1 Sky Commander. Entering the lane, B E Boston Strong tired badly as Winning Cause moved up to take the lead from 5th through 1 mile in 1:38.86. His Race to Win, 4th early, came through between horses to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:50.71. It was just a head back to late-running Pyrite Mountain third.
Left: His Race to Win in the winner's circle. Jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva said, "It worked out perfect but I was really worried. I had so much horse in the turn and had nowhere to go, but I'm glad they opened a hole there for me. My horse was there just waiting for that moment."
Right: His Race to Win in the paddock. The Malcolm Pierce trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 11 starts, earning $293,224 for owner-breeder Sam-Son Farms.
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Winning Cause in the paddock. The 6-5 choice raced 5th early under jockey John Velazquez, led in the stretch but was outfinished. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 4 seconds, and 1 third in 12 starts, earning $363,683 for owner Alto Racing LLC.
Right: Third place finisher Pyrite Mountain returns after the race. The 6-1 third choice was last early under jockey Gary Boulanger, then rallied to just miss second money by a head. The Mark Frostad trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 9 starts, earning $259,975 for ownership group Awesome Again Racing Limited Partnership.
Woodbine Mile (G1) results - the feature race of the day.
Past runnings of the Northern Dancer Turf:
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