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Pyrite Mountain Catches Uncaptured in Wando

Pyrite Mountain, ridden by Luis Contreras for trainer Mark Frostad, announced his Queen`s Plate intentions by outbattling John Oxley`s Uncaptured in the $100,000 Wando Stakes Sunday at Woodbine.
 
Sent postward the 7-2 second choice behind 2-5 Uncaptured, Canada`s Horse of the Year in 2012 for trainer Mark Casse, Pyrite Mountain was content to lag behind his three rivals for much of the mile and one-sixteenth contest.
 
But after Uncaptured took command from pacesetter Midnight Aria turning for home, Contreras had Pyrite Mountain in high gear while angling to the outside.  In a drive to the wire, the Ontario-bred son of Silent Name-Gold Lined gradually wore down the leaders inside the sixteenth pole to prevail by one and one-half lengths in 1:44.24.
 
Uncaptured, ridden by Patrick Husbands, held the place award by a nostril over a game Midnight Aria, while Tesseron came in fourth, four and one-quarter lengths further back.   The Wando, named for Canada`s Triple Crown winner in 2003, was reduced to four starters after the scratches of Are You Kidding Me, Steel Dust Dancer and Dynamic Sky.
 
While Uncaptured took all the juvenile glory, deservedly so, last year, winning six of seven starts, including five stakes, en route to dual Sovereign Awards, the lightly-raced Pyrite Mountain tipped his hand to possible future success as well, losing his debut by a head before breaking his maiden in the restricted Kingarvie Stakes at Woodbine last December.
 
Frostad then sent the colt to Florida, where he was a troubled fourth in a turf contest at Gulfstream Park, before finishing the runner-up to Red Rifle, a highly-regarded Todd Pletcher trainee at Keeneland on April 13.  Today, he returned to Woodbine to begin his march to the July 7 Queen`s Plate.
 
And what better way to do it than to defeat one of the Plate favourites Uncaptured, whose connections had been pointing him to the Kentucky Derby before an uncharacteristically dismal performance in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland derailed those hopes.
 
``My horse broke a little slow,`` explained Contreras, `but I tried to save ground on both turns.  He’s so nice to ride.``
 
``He`s coming along nicely,`` echoed Frostad, of Pyrite Mountain.  ``He`s had a couple of good starts over the winter and he didn`t get the best of trips but got a lot out of them.   It was a learning experience.  He was ready today, ran very well.    Luis managed very well on him (for the first time).``
 
Owned by Awesome Again Racing Limited Partnership, Pyrite Mountain earned $75,600 for the win to push his career bankroll to $175,780.   He was a $50,000 purchase at the Canadian September Yearling Sales.
 
Pyrite Mountain paid $9.20 to win (no place or show wagering), combining with Uncaptured for a $14.30 (5-2) exactor.
 

 

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