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Jockey Steven Bahen celebrates as Tiz a Slam heads to the winner's circle after the Dominion Day Stakes.
The feature race on Canada Day at Woodbine as part of the country's 151st birthday festivities, is the $125,000 Dominion Day Stakes (G3), featuring the top older horses on the grounds going the classic distance of 1 1/4 miles on the Tapeta, and this year is the closing day of the now three-day Queen's Plate Festival. The unusually hot conditions continued, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 90's feeling closer to 110 with the humidity, with the Tapeta rated fast (standard) and the turf rated firm (GoingStick reading 11.7). Last year's winner Melmich was sent off as the 3-2 favorite in the field of 7 off second place finishes in the Valedictory (G3) and the Eclipse (G2). In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Are You Kidding Me, runner-up last year and winner of the Eclipse (G2) and 4-1 third choice Gigantic Breeze, 3rd in the Eclipse after disappointing 11th as the favorite in the Claiming Crown Jewel.
Tiz a Slam leads down the stretch
Jockey Steven Bahen sent 11-1 Tiz a Slam to the front first time by and he set slow fractions of 25.51, 50.84, 1:15.37, and 1:38.81 while pressed by 35-1 Dragon Bay and stalked by 18-1 Black Sea. Entering the stretch, Tiz a Slam continued to lead as jockey Eurico Rosa da Sila, 7th early aboard Melmich, moved up to challenge through 9f in 1:50.70. However, Tiz a Slam turned him away late, pulling away to a 1 1/4 length win in 2:03.11. It was another 2 lengths back to Are You Kidding Me third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Tiz a Slam Bahen 25.00 8.40 4.40 2 Melmich Da Silva 3.20 2.50 5 Are You Kidding Me Hernandez 2.50 Winning Time: 2:03.11 $2 Exacta 7-2 83.10 $2 Trifecta 7-2-5 224.80 $1 Superfecta 7-2-5-3 267.40
Left: Tiz a Slam in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Roger Attfield said, "This horse actually trained super into this race. He's a big, long-striding horse and he likes just to gallop. The last few races, we've been wide in some of those races because you can't check him. He's got to keep striding. He trained like he could win the race if he got his trip and he dug in well down the lane, which I was clearly pleased to see. He's a nice horse."
Right: Tiz a Slam heads back to the barn.
Left: Tiz a Slam in the post parade. Winning jockey Steven Bahen said, "I know we were going pretty slow and he was tugging me the whole way. He got some good fractions and that's why he finished up so strong. Roger had him ready today and it was fantastic."
Right: Tiz a Slam leads first time by.
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Melmich returns after the race. The Kevin Attard trainee improved his record to 16 wins, 12 seconds, and 3 thirds in 37 starts, earning $951,248 for owners Steve Chesney and Cory Hoffman.
Right: Third place finisher Are You Kidding Me first time by. The Roger Attfield trainee improved his record to 12 wins, 7 seconds, and 8 thirds in 39 starts, earning $1,202.003 for owner-breeder Ronald Kirk, John Bates, and Michael Riordan.
Safe to Say wins the Bison City Stakes
Jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva sent Katie's Baby loose on the lead through fractions of 23.95, 48.28, and 1:12.72 while stalked by Avie's Mineshaft and 5-1 Lunar Garden. Entering the lane, Katie Baby continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:37.83 but 11-2 Safe to Say, 5th early under Jerome Lermyte, came out 4 wide for room and rallied to outfinish Avie's Mineshaft by a neck in 1:44.41. It was a head back to pacesetter Katie Baby third, and 3/4 more to favorite Hot Cash fourth.
Left: Safe to Say in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Jerome Lermyte said, "We didn't want to get in traffic trouble. The race unfolded perfectly. When we asked her, she delivered a nice fight and she went all the way. We are very happy today." Owner Jeff Begg added, "She's always been a pretty nice filly, but just couldn't quite find the exact thing for her. I think she's a 7/8 to a mile horse. That's why we passed the Woodbine Oaks and we came here, it's a little shorter. She showed some form on the turf, so we might head that direction as well. She just seems like she's put it together this year."
Right: Right: Safe to Say gets hosed off after the race.
Left: Second place finisher Avie's Mineshaft returns after the race. The Josie Carroll trainee improved her recoerd to 1 win, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $140,665 for owner-breeder Ivan Dalos.
Right: Third place finisher and pacesetter Katie Baby in the post parade. The Catherine Day Phillips trainee improved her record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $56,169 for owner-breeder Anderson Farms Ontario Inc.
Left: Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Hot Cash first time by. The Jimmy Jerkens trainee has a record to 0 wins, 0 seconds, and 2 thirds in 6 starts, earning $63,309 for owner-breeder Frank Stronach.
Right: The fillies break from the gate for the Bison City Stakes.
Silent Sonet wins the Zadracarta Stakes
Jockey Luis Contreras sent 15-2 Dublin Diva to the lead through fractions of 22.60 and 44.73 while pressed by 32-1 Listenlindalisten and stalked by Silent Sonet. Entering the stretch Dublin Diva tired as Silent Sonet took over the lead through 3/4 in 1:07.42. Kept to task by Eurico Rosa da Silva, Silent Sonet cruised to a 1 1/4 length win over late-running favorite Niigon's Eclipse in 1:19.74, just 36/100 off Soaring Free's 2004 course record. It was another 1 3/4 length back to 46-1 Sugar Jones third. Due to a timer malfunction this race was hand-timed.
Left: Silent Sonet in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva said, "Our plan was to stay back a little bit more. We know she loves the grass and she was very keen today. She broke there and she positioned herself in third and second place, she was traveling very easy and I didn't want to bother her. She was happy where she was. When we turned for home, she kicked from there."
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Niigon's Eclipse after the finish. The Rachel Halden trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 6 seconds, and 3 thirds in 17 starts, earning $345,371 for owner-breeder Chiefswood Stable.
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