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Tu Endie Wei heads to the winner's circle led by owner Brereton Jones after the Ontario Debutante Stakes.
The feature race on Saturday at Woodbine was the $150,000 Ontario Debutante Stakes for 2-year-old fillies sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on the Polytrack. Racing conditions were ideal, with temperatures in the upper 70's and partly cloudy skies. Tu Endie Wei, a half-sister to Canada's 2010 Horse of the Year Biofuel, was sent off as the 3-10 favorite off her debut victory in the My Dear Stakes. In to challenge her included 6-1 second choice Northern Passion, winner of her debut in maiden company last out, and 7-1 third choice Runfor Ro, second in her first two starts, a maiden race in May and the My Dear in June.
Tu Endie Wei battles with Northern Passion in the stretch
Winning owner-breeder Brereton Jones said, "I feel tremendously blessed (to have bred and raced both Biofuel and her full sister Tu Endie Wei). We have the right people at home and here that played a big part of it. There were anxious moments and she was pretty keyed up. It's always a question of maturity at this point. She’s got this tremendous ability and this tremendous heart and that’s a great combination."
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Tu Endie Wei McAleney 2.70 2.30 2.10 4 Northern Passion Contreras 3.60 2.60 3 Runfor Ro Stein 2.70 Winning Time: 1:16.53 $2 Exacta 2-4 10.40 $2 Trifecta 2-4-3 19.70
Left: Tu Endie Wei in the winner's circle. Her jockey Jim McAleney said, "She's a young filly and she's still going through the learning curve. With more races she'll mature and settle down. We don't want her to be a one-dimensional speed horse. She was sharp leaving and then we were able to settle her down and get thinking again. The thing that I do like about this filly is that she did know the other filly was coming. She was still kicking in. If she didn't know the other filly was there she'd have slowed down. She showed a lot of professionalism today."
Right: Tu Endie Wei in the paddock before the race. Her trainer Reade Baker said, "I was concerned about the speed in the race. She's 1-2 (on the board), she could stop or she could win. Down on the inside (post 2) I wanted her on the lead, had we drawn outside I'd want her to drop back. Jimmy is a smart rider and knew what to do. I'd like to start her in the Mazarine followed by the Breeders' Cup (Juvenile Fillies). All we need is time and talent and we have them both."
Left: Second place finisher Northern Passion returns after the race. The 6-1 second choice settled 5 lengths off the pace early under regular rider Luis Contreras, closed late but could not pass the favorite. The Mark Casse trainee improved her record to 1 win and 1 second in 2 starts, earning $80,260 for owner John Oxley.
Right: Third place finisher Runfor Ro in the post parade. The 7-1 third choice set the pace under jockey Justin Stein, then tired through the lane to finish 3rd beaten 5 lengths. The Danny O'Callaghan trainee improved her record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $80,040 for owner Raroma Stable.
Riley Ripasso duels with Hotep in deep stretch
Hotep, Woodbourne, and 57-1 longest shot Aeolus battled for the lead down the backstretch through fractions of 24.69 and 49.01 over the firm turf. On the turn, Aeolus tired and dropped back to last, allowing Woodbourne to inherit the lead into the stretch through 3/4 in 1:13.07. Riley Ripasso, who was 5th early, closed on the outside, as Hotep also pulled away from the pacesetters. The pair dueled to the line, but Riley Ripasso pushed his neck in front in the final strides for the victory in 1:48.38. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Woodbourne third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Riley Ripasso Da Silva 6.90 3.40 2.70 2 Hotep Husbands 4.00 2.90 5 Woodbourne Contreras 2.60 Winning Time: 1:48.38 $2 Exacta 1-2 25.20 $2 Trifecta 1-2-5 64.10 $1 Superfecta 1-2-5-7 131.40
Left: Riley Ripasso heads to the winner's circle the winner's circle with trainer Debbie England on the far right on crutches. England came to the winner's circle on a wheelchair and stood with crutches due to an accident aboard the horse during training hours. She said, "(The accident) wasn't his fault. The stirrup came out of the saddle and hit him which spooked him and I couldn't stay on. But I'm getting better!"
Right: Riley Ripasso in the post parade. Englund continued, "He's a grand, little horse. He took a long time to come around. He’s a very young, immature horse. Once we got him on the grass and let him mature, he blossomed. My family and team has really stepped up to the plate to help me out and get him here."
Left: Second place finisher Hotep in the post parade. The 2-1 favorite contested the pace under regular rider Patrick Husbands, dueled with the eventual winner but just missed. The Mark Frostad trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 14 starts, earning $558,540 for owner-breeder Sam-Son Farm.
Right: Third place finisher Woodbourne returns after the race. The 3-1 third choice contested the pace under regular rider Luis Contreras, led the field into the stretch but faded late to finish third beaten 1 3/4 length. The Bob Tiller trainee improved his record to 8 wins, 5 seconds, and 4 thirds in 25 starts, earning $476,483 for owner The Very Dry Stable.
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