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Owners Bob (left) and Mark Krembil lead Heathcote to the winner's circle after the Valedictory Stakes.
The 2012 Thoroughbred meeting at Woodbine came to an end on Sunday. Rain fell through the day but cleared up in time for the feature race, with a relatively "warm" race time temperature of 46 degrees. This is also 2 weeks later than usual, as closing day had been the first Sunday in December for many years. The traditional closing day stakes race is the $150,000 Valedictory Stakes (G3), a 1 3/4 mile trip for older horses going around 3 turns of the Polytrack. Imperial Pippin, the only filly in the race, was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 9, off her second place finish in the Maple Leaf Stakes. In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Peyton, winner of a 1 1/2 mile allowance race last out, and 4-1 third choice So Long George, off an allowance win and making his stakes debut.
Heathcote draws off in the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Heathcote Wilson 14.00 5.80 4.50 6 Peyton Contreras 4.20 3.60 1 Quaesitor Stein 4.00 Winning Time: 2:59.42 $2 Exacta 4-6 66.10 $2 Trifecta 4-6-1 373.70 $1 Superfecta 4-6-1-2 1,118.80Results chart
Left: Heathcote in the winner's circle with trainer Paul Attard at his hip. The 4-year-old son of Niigon out of Touch Gold mare Prairie Flame improved his record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 7 starts, earning $236,060 for owner-breeder Chiefswood Stable (Bob and Mark Krembil).
Right: Heathcote in the post parade. Winning jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson said, "He is a big horse with a big, long stride. We knew the 1 3/4 miles wasn't going to hurt him at all, and when I got him just cruising along with his ears up the whole way, I thought it would take a race horse to beat him. He just started getting going at the 3/8 pole. No matter how good they are, and how much they handle that distance, they do seem to get a little tired. But, he would have went around again."
Left: Second place finisher Peyton in the post parade. The 5-2 second choice settled in 6th early about 20 lengths off the pace under jockey Luis Contreras, then rallied late to get second beaten 12 1/4 lengths. The Mike Doyle trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 0 thirds in 17 starts, earning $226,955 for owner Windhaven Farms.
Right: Third place finisher Quaesitor in the post parade. The 7-1 fifth choice stalked the pace in second under jockey Justin Stein, but could not keep up with the winner, finishing third beaten 14 lengths. The Ian Howard trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 1 second, and 4 thirds in 11 starts, earning $257,835 for owner Wayward Stable.
Bloody Caesar wins the final race of 2012 at Woodbine.
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