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The horses break from the gate for the Singspiel Stakes
Woodbine is well-known as the host track for the Queen's Plate, North America's oldest continuously-run stakes race, but it is also known for its 1 1/2-mile E.P. Taylor Turf Course, used for the Grade 1 Atto Mile, Canadian International, and E.P. Taylor Stakes held later in the year. The Queen's Plate undercard featured three stakes races all run over this famous course and with the sun out and no rain all week, the course was very firm and times were fast as expected.
Kicking off the stakes action on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine was the $200,800
Scotts Highlander Stakes (G3), a six furlong sprint on the lawn for older
horses. A field of seven went to post, with Australian-bred Man of Illusion
sent off as the 5-4 favorite off his win in the Churchill Downs Turf Sprint on
Kentucky Oaks day. 7-1 shot Langfleur set a brisk pace of 21.94 and 44.49 down
the backstretch and around the clubhouse turn, then 12-1 shot Marco Be Good
came out three-wide, collared the leader at the top of the stretch, and was
all-out in deep stretch to hold off the late charge of 5-2 Atticus Kristy to
prevail by 1/2 a length in 1:07.87, only 1/5 off the track record. It was just 1/2 a length back to 6-1
Sophia's Prince in third. Man of Illusion was wide throughout and showed
nothing in the stretch to finish fifth.
Results Chart from DRF.
Marco Be Good is led to the winner's circle by his owners. Trainer John Ross said, "We never had a chance to run on a good, firm turf. I think that was part of the reason we wanted to give this horse a try in these kind of conditions. Even today, we were debating whether we should keep him in or take him out. We made the right decision. I just loved the way in the last two races he's come out with confidence. It came out today, too."
Jambalaya heads for the winner's circle. Jockey Jono Jones said, "Everything worked out great. I think I moved a little early. It almost cost us. My horse started loafing at the end of the race but he still won."
Seaside Retreat in the post parade before the race.
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