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2016 Valedictory Stakes on closing day at Woodbine

The trophy presentation for the Valedictory Stakes.
Date: 12/04/2016

The 2016 Thoroughbred meeting at Woodbine came to an end on Sunday. Conditions were typical for early December at the Toronto oval, with cloudy skies and a race time temperature of 1.5 C (34.7 F) accompanied by a light wind. 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 Tapeta main track. Last year's winner and track record holder Melmich was sent off as ths 2-5 favorite in the field of 7, exiting a 4th plaece finish in the Marathon Stakes (G2) on the Breeders' Cup Saturday undercard at Santa Anita. In to challenge him included 15-4 second choice Aldous Snow, off consecutive allowance wins after finishing 3rd in the Singspiel (G3), and 10-1 third choice Decision Day, an allowance winner after finishing 5th in the Durham Cup (G3).

Bangkok (outside) rallies in the stretch

Jockey Gary Boulanger sent Decision Day to the front exiting the chute and he set fractions of 26.31, 52.23, 1:17.34, 1:42.24, and 2:08.10 while pressed by Melmich and stalked by 29-1 longest shot Ethical Funds. Entering the stretch for the final time, Melmich moved up to take over the lead through 1 1/2 miles in 2:33.28. Melmich opened up a 2 length lead midstretch through 1 5/8 miles in 2:46.18. However, jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard 18-1 Bangkok, 5th early, came out into the lane and rallied the length of the stretch to win by 1/2 a length in 2:59.88. It was another 3/4 length back to Ethical Funds third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
 5   Bangkok            Wilson          37.60    7.40  4.40
 4   Melmich            Da Silva                 2.00  2.10
 6   Ethical Funds      Moran                          6.70

Winning Time:  2:59.88

$2 Exacta 5-4                96.50
$2 Trifecta 5-4-6           531.80
$1 Superfecta 5-4-6-3     1,250.50
Results chart

Left: Bangkok in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Phil Gracey said, "We were going to be really happy with second, but he just kept on running. He's a nice, little horse."

Right: Bangkok in the post parade. Winning jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson said, "I've had a little bit of luck in this race. It takes a really good horse with a really deep pool of stamina to get the job done, and Bangkok had that today. It was a good effort. The connections have done a marvelous job with this horse. This distance is not an easy task. My horse just kept on coming. I think the trip out to California took something out of Melmich."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Melmich races in second first time by. The 2-5 choice pressed the pace under Eurico Rosa da Silva, led in the stretch but could not hold off the winner. The Kevin Attard trainee improved his record to 11 wins, 7 seconds, and 3 thirds in 27 starts, earning $579,890 for owners Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman.

Right: Third place finisher Ethical Funds in the post parade. The 29-1 longest shot stalked the pace in 3rd under David Moran but could not improve late finishing third beaten 1 1/4 lengths. The George Billers trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 5 seconds, and 3 thirds in 21 starts, earning $182,675 for owner Oak Run Racing Inc.

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