Touch’n Ride, under Kazushi Kimura, wore down a game rival in Elysian Field and then survived a rider’s claim of foul Sunday at Woodbine to win the US $294,670 Breeders’ Stakes, the final jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown.
It was the duo of slight 3-1 favorite Paramount Prince, winner of the first jewel The King’s Plate in August, and 75-1 series newcomer Hemlo Gold who led their 12 rivals into the first turn on a summer-like day at the Toronto oval. They were followed by Kaukokaipuu, runner-up in the second jewel the Prince of Wales, with Midnight in Malibu fourth. Touch’n Ride, fifth in the Plate, sat in fifth.
Click here for Woodbine entries and results.
??Breeders' Stakes (Stakes)
2.400 m - 400.000 CAD - for 3yo
Touch'n Ride (CAN)
(3C Candy Ride -Niigon's Touch, by Niigon)
J : @kazushi0096
T : Layne S. Giliforte
O : Chiefswood Stables Limitedpic.twitter.com/k1K8Ed7xJk— ?????????????????????? (@WorldRacing1) October 1, 2023
Hemlo Gold was head in front after an opening quarter-mile in 23.71 seconds over firm turf. He was shadowed by Paramount Prince with Midnight in Malibu and Kaukokaipuu third and fourth.
The lead duo continued their up-front tussle that saw Paramount Prince a half-length on top through a half-mile in 48.75 seconds. Kimura had Touch’n Ride well within range of the leaders, still comfortably positioned in fifth after a mile.
Paramount Prince and Hemlo Gold were still on top heading into the final turn, but the cavalry charge was coming, including Woodbine Oaks victress and Plate runner-up Elysian Field, who was full of run to the outside, and a surging Touch’n Ride.
It then set the stage for a lengthy battle down the long stretch where Elysian Field and Touch’n Ride broke away from their pursuers, neither horse giving an inch, as they drifted to the far outside midway down the lane. At the wire Touch’n Ride, a Chiefswood Stable homebred trained by Layne Giliforte, eked out a nose victory.
Elysian Field was four lengths ahead of 51-1 Twowaycrossing for second. Philip My Dear was fourth. Tito’s Calling, Wickenheiser, Kaukokaipuu, British Artillery, Tiburon, Sammy Stone, Simcoe, Hemlo Gold, Paramount Prince and Midnight in Malibu rounded out the order of finish.
The winning time for the 1 1/2 miles was 2:27.56.
Sahin Civaci, aboard Elysian Field, launched a claim of foul against Kimura and Touch’n Ride, but it was disallowed by the stewards.
“It feels amazing,” said Kimura, who notched his first win in the series. “I’ve always tried to win (a race in) the Triple Crown, and I’ve finally made it. Last week I got on him in the morning, and he was a very nice horse on the turf. I was quite comfortable staying behind Paramount Prince, the King’s Plate winner.”
Giliforte, who has 910 training wins to his name, found a way to ride out the unfolding drama.
“It’s nerve-racking when you watch a horse get herded out like that,” he said. “The biggest worry is that the horse is going to slip up inside the field. If it impeded your trip, you can claim foul and reverse the order, but if a horse slips up the inside and you have nothing to do with it, it can take the win from you. Nerve-racking to watch.”
But also deeply rewarding.
“I’m getting choked up over it,” Giliforte said. “I had a great feeling going into the race, and for him to come through the way he did and Kazushi to give him the ride that he did, it’s fantastic.”
Touch’n Ride, a son of Candy Ride out of Niigon’s Touch, is 4: 2-0-1 from four starts. His Chiefswood Stable won the 2018 Breeders’ with Neepawa. The bay gelding, third choice on the toteboard, paid $10.20 for the win.
This triple crown is restricted to 3-year-olds bred in Canada.