Hernandez guides Signature Spring to smart score in Colin

September 11, 2016 01:33pm
Signature Spring wins 2016 Colin
Photo: Michael Burns/Wodbine

Signature Spring, rallying smartly from off the pace, ran his career record to 2-for-2 and gave rider Rafael Hernandez his second stakes win and fourth straight score of the afternoon in Sundays’ $144,000 Colin Stakes.

Breaking from the outside, Signature Spring was taken back off the pace as shipper Arlen’s Prospect and first-time starter Uncle B went at it on the front end through a quarter-mile in :22.24 and the half in :45.50.

Junket had been sitting nicely in third and made a move to the front turning for home but Signature Spring also was in gear by this point and proved clearly best in the closing stages, prevailing by 1 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:10.48. King of the Court, last through much of the Colin, rallied on the outside for third money,  just ¾ lengths shy of Junket. Fleetway also was coming late to end fourth, two lengths behind King and his Court.

Uncle Guy and Arlen’s Prospect paid the price of their early exertions and wound up fifth and last, respectively, in the field of seven.

They were split by sixth-place finisher Honor River, who had stalked within striking range from inside and switched outside to find room turning for home but lacked a closing punch. Honor Red was the slight favorite at 2.15-1 with Signature Spring going postaward at 2.40-1

Signature Spring was the sixth stakes winner of the meeting for Attard and the seventh for Hernandez.

“He’s so smart; he knows where to put them,” said Attard, singing the praises of Hernandez following the Colin. “(Signature Spring) showed me something good, the last couple of works. He really finished strong.”

Bred and owned by the Norseman Racing Stable of Howard Walton, Signature Spring became the first winner for his sire, Signature Red, when taking his debut at six furlongs here Aug. 20.

Sunday’s $90,000 payday, including a $15,000 Ontario-sired bonus, brought the colt’s bankroll to $117,000. Signature Spring returned $6.80, $3.80 and $2.90 and keyed a 7-5 exactor with Junket ($4.60, $4.40) worth $27.00. King and His Court, the longest shot on the board at just under 30-1, returned $6.30 to show and spiced up a 7-5-1 triactor worth $133.10 for $1. Fleetway completed a 7-5-1-6 superfecta worth $617.70.

Ontario Jockey Club: A blue chip performance by Stacked Deck

Stacked Deck, Canada’s reigning champion sprinter, battled gamely through Sunday’s $102,600 Ontario Jockey Club Handicap to score by 1.5 lengths.

Ridden by Rafael  Hernandez for the first time, Stacked Deck broke alertly despite throwing his head in the air and moved quickly to the lead from his outside post in the field of seven.  Stacked Deck soon was engaged by Puntrooksie, however, and the pair went as a team through a quarter in :22.53 and a half in :44.59 before trading punches in the stretch until the winner finally asserted his superiority. The final time for the six furlongs was 1:08.79.

Sweet Grass Creek stalked the pace from the inside and then moved off the rail for the stretch drive to finish third, 2 ½ lengths behind the runner-up.

Calgary Cat, the Sovereign Award-winning sprinter of 2015, lacked a serious closing kick and was just up for fourth, three-quarters of a length behind Sweet Grass Creek and a nose before european shipper Glorious Empire.

Goodoldhockeygame and Seafar rounded out the order of finish.

“Everything worked good,” said Hernandez, who has become a going concern in the local riding colony since moving his tack here in July.

“We got a good post; he  broke perfect.  I just let him run in the stretch.”

Stacked Deck’s performance was a relief for owner/trainer Bruce Lunsford and trainer Barbara Minshall as the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred had been scratched at the gate from his scheduled seasonal bow and then had troubled trips in both the Vigil and Connaught Cup.

The Ontario Jockey Club was Stacked Deck’s first start since June 5 and the time off appeared to have worked wonders.

“I love him to death, but he’s a difficult, difficult horse,” said Minshall. “But he’s been really good in the last month and I’m really, really happy with him.”

Stacked Deck was recording his eighth win from 20 career starts and has finished second or third on four other occasions while banking $584,998.

“He’s been a great horse for me,” said Lunsford.  “I love coming up here. We’ve had pretty good luck in the last four years up here. I plan to keep coming and I hope I get a few more like this one.”
Stacked Deck returned $5.60, $3.30 and $2.70 as the 9-5 favorite and combined with 2-1 second choice Puntrooskie ($3.00, $2.20) for a 7-3 exactor of $13.50. Sweet Grass Creek ($2.70) completed a $1 triactor worth $57.60.

Source: Woodbine Communications Office


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