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Jockey Justin Stein celebrates aboard Phil's Dream after the Nearctic Stakes
The final Breeders' Cup Challenge stakes for 2013 was the $300,000 Nearctic Stakes (G1) at Woodbine, a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Light rainshowers all day downgraded the turf course to good, with temperatures in the low 60's. A field of 10 older horses contested this 6 furlong dash over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, with Play the King (G2) runner-up Excaper sent off as the 3-1 favorite off his 6th place finish in the Woodbine Mile (G1). In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice Longhunter, winner of the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash last out, and 6-1 third choice Riding the River, winner of the King Edward (G2) but fourth in the Woodbine Mile.
Phil's Dream leads down the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Phil's Dream Stein 20.00 7.50 4.90 8 Mr. Online Carmouche 9.70 5.30 4 Longhunter Garcia 3.80 Winning Time: 1:10.83 $2 Exacta 5-8 146.10 $2 Trifecta 5-8-4 750.70 $1 Superfecta 5-8-4-1 5,191.10Results chart Past winners of the Nearctic Stakes
Left: Phil's Dream in the winner's circle. Rick Hayashi, assistant to owner-breeder-trainer Paul Buttigieg, said, "Yes he has (answered every question asked of him). I think he can go any (distance), Paul has run him at 5 1/2 before. When I watched him run before, I felt he would be a better horse on the turf. So we took it from there. Justin gets along well with many of our horses."
Right: Phil's Dream heads back to the barn in his new winner's blanket. Jockey Justin Stein said, "He's a really nice horse, super talented. I did have to sit and wait a little bit, but I had lots of horse to carry me to where I needed to be when it was time to ask him to run. That's the beauty of riding a horse like this. I believe in this horse, was very confident (despite lack of turf experience), I knew he would step up for me."
Left: Phil's Dream heads out of the paddock before the race.
Right: Second place finisher Mr. Online returns after the race. The 8-1 shot was 8th early under jockey Kendrick Carmouche, rallied late to get second beaten 2 lengths. The Michael Pino trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 4 seconds, and 3 thirds in 24 starts, earning $280,255 for owner Tim O'Donohue.
Left: Third place finisher Longhunter heads out of the paddock before the race. The 7-2 second choice pressed the pace in second under jockey Alan Garcia but tired in the final furlong to finish third beaten 2 3/4 lengths. The Mike Maker trainee improved his record to 7 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 22 starts, earning $304,03 for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
Right: Ninth place finisher and beaten favorite Excaper in the post parade. The 3-1 choice settled about 3 lengths off the pace down the backstretch under jockey Luis Contreras but failed to respond when asked, finishing 9th beaten 7 lengths. The Ian Black trainee has a record of 3 wins, 6 seconds, and 1 third in 15 starts, earning $501,279 for owner-breeder Richard Kaster and Fred Wieting.
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