Arlington Million day
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Jockey Ramon Dominguez and Better Talk Now after winning the Sky Classic Stakes.
The older turf divisions were featured at Woodbine on Sunday afternoon. The highlight of the card was the $300,000 Sky Classic Stakes (G2), a 1 3/8 mile trip over a rain-soaked, "yielding" E.P. Taylor Turf Course. 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf winner Better Talk Now shipped in from his Fair Hill, Maryland base and was sent off as the 9-5 favorite in a field of seven. He came into the race off a disappointing seventh place finish in the Arlington Million last time out, and is the first Breeders' Cup winner to race at Woodbine since 1997 Turf winner Chief Bearhart. In to challenge the favorite was 5-2 second choice Silver Whistle, second in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga in his last start, and 3-1 third choice Grand Couturier, third in the Sword Dancer in what was his first North American start after racing in France.
The stretch duel with Better Talk Now (outside), Jambalaya (middle), and Last Answer.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 6 Better Talk Now Dominguez 5.70 3.70 2.50 3 Jambalaya Jones 5.10 3.80 1 Last Answer Ramsammy 3.10 Winning Time: 2:18.50 $2 Exacta 6-3 38.10 $2 Trifecta 6-3-1 107.30
Better Talk Now in the winner's circle with trainer H. Graham Motion by his flank. Trainer Graham Motion said, "I've said all along this year, I think this horse is every bit as good as he was when he won the Breeders' Cup." Asked if Better Talk Now would return to Woodbine to contest the Canadian International, Motion added, "The International is a very prestigious race in its own right. We're going to have to get together and decide whether to choose that or the Breeders' Cup."
Better Talk Now returns after the race. (left) Winning jockey Ramon Dominguez said, "He has also run in some races where it seems like it's going to be paceless. As long as he relaxes, he can get it done. He can be his own worst enemy when he gets a little too keyed up. He's an old pro. He knows what needs to be done to win."
Better Talk Now in the post parade. (right)
Second place finisher Jambalaya in the post parade. His jockey Jono Jones said, I think he ran the race of his life. I had a perfect trip. I was right on the rail. That was probably the best going."
Second place finisher Last Answer in the post parade. Last Answer improved his career record to 4 wins, 10 seconds, and 4 thirds in 35 career starts, with earnings of $666,963, however he has not won a race since last August.
Murani wins the Flaming Page Stake
The start of the Flaming Page Stakes
Owner Jurgen Schemmer leads Murani to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Mike Keogh said, "When Noble Stella drew up to her, I thought she was going to go by us. But this filly showed a lot of guts. If nobody was going to go (to the lead), we were going to do it. That's the way it set up. Emile (Ramsammy, jockey) had a lot of confidence in this filly going into the race. He thought the mile and a half would suit her."
Murani in the winner's circle with rain-soaked trainer Michael Keogh at her flank. It was really pouring rain during the race.
Second place finisher Noble Stella runs out after the race.
Third place finisher and longest shot on the board Foamy Water in the paddock before the race.
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