Woodward Stakes Day
Mohawk Million Night
Summer & Natalma Stakes
Prince of Wales Stakes
Master of the Seas heads to the winner's circle after the Woodbine Mile.
The $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) celebrated its 27th renewal on Saturday afternoon. Run at 1 mile around one turn of the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, it features some of the best turf milers in North America and Europe looking for an automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on November 4, under the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" promotion. Conditions were typical for "Woodbine Turf Champions Day" with partly cloudy skies and a post time temperature of 22.3 C (72.7 F). The Taylor course was rated firm.
A short field of just six made final entry, with Master of the Seas sent off as the 2-5 favorite off his win in the Summer Mile (G2) at Ascot after disappointing in 13th in the Dubai Turf (G1). In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Shirl's Speight off fourth place finishes in the Dubai Turf and King Edward Stakes (G2), and 13-2 third choice Ice Chocolat, third in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.
Master of the Seas leads down the stretch
Jockey Dylan Davis sent 44-1 longest shot My Sea Cottage to the lead down the backstretch through fractions of 23.68 and 47.32 while pressed by 10-1 fourth choice War Bomber and stalked by 19-1 Lucky Score. Turning for home, My Sea Cottage tired allowing War Bomber to inherit the lead through 3/4 in 1:10.87. Master of the Seas, last early and 6 1/2 lengths off the early pace, came out 7 wide into the stretch to take over the lead through 7f in 1:22.27. Kept to task by William Buick, Master of the Seas drew off late to win by 3 3/4 lengths over late-running Shirl's Speight in 1:33.79. It was a neck back to Lucky Score third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Master of the Seas Buick 2.80 2.10 2.10 3 Shirl's Speight Velazquez 3.30 2.20 6 Lucky Score Civaci 4.00 Winning Time: 1:33.79 $1 Exacta 1-3 3.45 $2 Trifecta 1-3-6 34.60 $2 Superfecta 1-3-6-2 92.50
Left: Master of the Seas in the winner's circle. Alex Merriam, assistant to winning trainer Charlie Appleby said, "He's a horse that is pretty lightly raced and he's not the most straight forward, but the team over here has done a great job with him. He has been very relaxed over here and settled in well. We see the result of that. He is professional and he's done it nicely."
Right: Master of the Seas in his winner's blanket.
Left: Master of the Seas in the paddock before the race. Merriam added, "He will ship home. Then see how he comes out of the race and see how he is at the end of October. Hopefully if he is well, maybe go back to the Breeders' Cup."
Right: Master of the Seas in the post parade.
Left: Master of the Seas heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey William Buick said, "He usually breaks pretty fast, for one reason or another he didn't today. But there weren't many runners and the pace was even. It's a big, fair track and he's a horse with a turn of foot, so it was kind of my job to navigate a trouble-free passage. He is pretty high maintenance, but everyone at home has done a great job with him. I thought today he was much more the finished article."
Right: Master of the Seas gets hosed off after the race.
Left: The trophy presentation for the Woodbine Mile.
Right: Jockey William Buick kisses the Woodbine Mile trophy. Buick added, "He usually breaks pretty fast. For one reason or another, he didn't today. There wasn't that many runners and the pace was even throughout, without being crazy. It's a big, fair track. He's a horse with a turn of foot, and it was just my job to navigate a trouble-free passage for him, really."
Left: Second place finisher Shirl's Speight in the paddock before the race. The Roger Attfield trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 18 starts, earning $1,415,304 for owner-breeder Charles Fipke.
Right: Third place finisher Lucky Score in the returns after the race. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 3 seconds, and 5 thirds in 18 starts, earning $561,249 for owners Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable, and Gary Barber.
An hour before the Woodbine Mile, a field of 8 older horses contested the $150,000 Vigil Stakes (G3), a 6 furlong sprint on the Tapeta main track. Patches O'Houlihan was sent off as the 6-5 favorite off a 5 race win streak including the Bold Venture (G2) last out. In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Old Chestnut, third in the Bold Venture after finishing fifth in the Connaught Cup (G2), and 11-2 third choice Souper Watson, fifth in the Bold Venture.
Patches O'Houlihan dueled with 10-1 fifth choice Rockcrest through fractions of 22.31 and 44.32 while stalked by 31-1 longest shot Last American Exit. Turning for home, Rockcrest held a short lead through 5f in 56.18 but faded late. Patches O'Houlihan under Daisuke Fukumoto held off Last American Exit to win by a nose in 1:09.16. It was a head back to 12-1 Secret Reserve third.
Left: Patches O'Houlihan in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Daisuke Fukumoto said, "This horse likes the company. Today, he was pretty quiet, but was real sharp last time. He was calm today and followed the inside horse nicely. When the stretch came, I had confidence because he likes company."
Right: Patches O'Houlihan gets hosed off after the race. Winning trainer Bob Tiller said, "I think he's a really good horse. We were lucky to win today and he won without me because I didn't see the race. I missed it because I got stuck in the elevator."
Left: Second place finisher Last American Exit returns after the race. The Harold Ladouceur trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 12 seconds, and 3 thirds in 31 starts, earning $407,486 for owner Kirk Sutherland.
Right: Third place finisher Secret Reserve in the post parade. The Michael Mattine trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 1 second, and 6 thirds in 18 starts, earning $315,268 for owners Carlo D'Amato and Stacey Van Camp.
Summer and Natalma Stakes also on the card.
Woodbine Mile info online:
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