R U Watchingbud, with Emma-Jayne Wilson in the irons, rallied from off the pace to capture $125,000 New Providence Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by John Ross for his J R Racing Stable, the dark bay Kentucky Bear colt finished best of all to spring a 25-1 upset in the six furlong Tapeta sprint for Ontario-sired horses three-years-old and upward.
Wilson settled R U Watchingbud along the rail at the back of the pack as Sparrowhawk set splits of :22.71 and :46.14 under pressure from Seffeara and Call Me Wally.
The field converged on Sparrowhawk at the top of the lane as Wilson angled R U Watchingbud outside to join the onrushing Sorry About That for the stretch run, while race favourite Goodoldhockeygame finished furiously along the rail. When the dust settled it was R U Watchingbud that emerged a length winner over Goodoldhockeygame, with Sorry About That a further neck back in third. R U Watchingbud covered six furlongs in 1:10.35.
Wilson dismounted from R U Watchingbud in the gallop out of the New Providence for precautionary reasons and the colt was vanned back to the barn.
R U Watchingbud was a major presence on the Queen's Plate trail last season, capturing the Queenston Stakes and finishing fifth in the Grade III Marine Stakes before falling in the Plate Trial. The colt returned after a month's absence and hit the board in four of his next seven starts.
Wilson felt confident going into the New Providence despite going to post as the second longest shot on the board.
"I didn't really think about the odds. I figured if he was as good as he was when we ran in the stake (Queenston) last year, we'd win. He's an off the pace sprinter, he's got the ability and he's got the talent," said Wilson. "The way he had been working, I thought we had a shot to win, if not at least hit the board."
Wilson was keeping an eye on the 7-5 mutuel favourite Goodoldhockeygame and rider Patrick Husbands throughout.
"As we went into the turn, I thought Goodoldhockeygame was getting a good trip and I was going to follow Patrick up the inside," said Wilson. "But, the way it was stacking up, he's a momentum kind of horse and I didn't want to get him into any trouble.
"I had an opportunity to angle him outside as we turned for home and not lose too much ground," continued Wilson. "So, I took that option. When he jumped his leads he just flew home."
R U Watchingbud, bred in Ontario by Bear Stables Ltd., banked $75,000 in victory while improving his record to 3-2-5 from 16 starts.
He paid $58.80, $14.90 and $7.20, combining with Goodoldhockeygame ($3.20, $3) for a $118.90 (2-1) exactor. A 2-1-7 triactor (Sorry About That, $5.30 to show) was worth $897.60.80, while a $1 Superfecta [2-1-7-5 (Seffeara)] came back $1449.60.