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2016 Wando Stakes

Jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva and Bear'sway head to the winner's circle after the 2016 Wando Stakes
Date: 4/24/2016

The feature race at Woodbine on the third Sunday of the 2016 meeting was the $100,000 Wando Stakes, a 1 1/16 mile main track test for 3-year-olds, and can be considered an early Queen's Plate and Canadian Triple Crown prep despite being an open event (Canada's Triple Crown is restricted to 3-year-olds foaled in Canada). This is also the first year of Woodbine's main track racing being contested over a Tapeta surface, which replaced the aging Polytrack which had been in use since August 2006, and in addition, starting this year the races are timed exclusively via the Trakus system of transponders rather than the traditional teletimer beams. Conditions were typical for late April at the historic Toronto oval, with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures near 50 degrees.

Bear'sway (inside) battles with Dragon Bay down the stretch.
A field of 7 went to post with Amis Gizmo sent off as the 4-5 favorite, undefeated in his 4 starts so far, all in stakes competition including the Kingarvie last out, and making his first start of the year here. In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Bear'sway, 6th in last year's Summer Stakes (G2) but 4th in the Display Stakes before his winter layoff, and 5-1 third choice Conquest Daddyo, winner of the Summer but 4th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Keeneland before finishing 6th in the Kitten's Joy last out at Gulfstream.

Amis Gizmo and Bear'sway dueled for the lead for the first 3/4 mile through fractions of 24.54, 47.84, and 1:12.44 while as many as 5 1/2 length clear of Conquest Daddyo and 15-2 fifth choice Dragon Bay stalking them third and fourth respectively. At the top of the stretch, Amis Gizmo tired allowing Bear'sway to inherit the lead through 7/8 in 1:25.24, as Dragon Bay moved up to challenge on the outside, setting up a battle to the line. Dragon Bear appeared to draw even at about the 1/16 pole through 1 mile in 1:38.29, but Bear'sway fought him off to win by a neck in 1:45.04. It was a long 3 1/4 lengths back to 7-1 fourth choice Conquest Windycity third.

There was a lengthy stewards' inquiry due to two separate claims of foul, neither of which affected the winner. Gary Boulanger aboard 96-1 longest shot and fourth place finisher Thatlookonyerface claimed foul against Alan Garcia aboard Conquest Windycity for interference on the backstretch, and also Patrick Husbands aboard last place finisher Conquest Daddyo claimed foul against both Gerry Olguin (Dragon Bay) and Alan Garcia (Conquest Windycity) for interference on the far turn. The stewards agreed with the first claim, disqualifying Conquest Windycity and placing him fourth, moving Thatlookonyerface up to third. The second claim was disallowed.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
 1   Bear'sway          Da Silva         9.90    4.80  4.10
 3   Dragon Bay         Olguin                   5.30  5.20
 5   Thatlookonyerface  Boulanger                     14.20

Winning Time:  1:45.04

$2 Exacta 1-3                72.80
$2 Trifecta 1-3-5         1,545.00
$1 Superfecta 1-3-5-4     2,990.70
Results chart

Left: Bear'sway in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva said, "I was very confident. My horse was very well prepared for this race and there was no doubt in my mind he would be very strong for the last quarter and he showed that. He's a wonderful animal and I think this horse is going to get better and better."

Right: Bear'sway heads back to the barn after the race. Da Silva added, "I worked this horse and he was very relaxed in the morning and that's what I wanted to do today. I wanted to be behind horses. The pace of the first quarter went pretty good, but the pace started slowing down and I saw a gap inside so I just let him go a little bit because he was getting tough on me."

Left: Second place finisher Dragon Bay heads out for the post parade. The 15-2 fifth choice settled in fourth early about 4 lengths off the pace under jockey Gerry Olguin, challenged the leader at the 1/8 pole but was outfinished. The Stuart Simon trainee improved his record to 1 win, 1 second, and 3 thirds in 6 starts, earning $60,666 for owners Brent and Russell McLennan and Stuart Simon.

Right: Third place finisher (moved up via disqualification) Thatlookonyerface returns after the race. The 96-1 longest shot was 5th early 7 lengths off the pace under Gary Boulanger, checked near the end of the backstretch, and continued to to finish 4th beaten 5 lengths. Boulanger's successful claim of foul moved him up to third. The Dave Cotey trainee improved his record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $24,948 for owners Dominion Bloodstock and Barry Butzer.

Left: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Amis Gizmo leads shortly after the start. The 4-5 choice battled for the lead early under jockey Luis Contreras but tired at the 3/16 pole, fading to finish 5th beaten 5 1/4 lengths. He is the highest-placed of the two Queen's Plate eligibles in the field (the other, Conquest Daddyo, finished last). The Josie Carroll trainee has a record of 4 wins, 0 seconds, and 0 thirds in 5 starts, earning $262,127 for owner-breeder Ivan Dalos (Tall Oaks Farm).

Right: The horses break from the gate for the Wando Stakes.

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