Richard Santulli’s Tannery, soundly ridden by Joel Rosario, outdueled Fitful Skies in the closing strides to take the Grade 1 $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes by a head Sunday at Woodbine.
The E.P. Taylor, part of the Pattison International Day undercard, drew 10 fillies and mares for the mile and one-quarter turf battle and Tannery went postward the 2-1 choice.
No Explaining went immediately to the front, taking the field through early fractions of 26.35, 51.76 and 1:16.94 over a yielding turf. Meanwhile, Tannery was allowed to settle at the back of the pack, about seven lengths from the front.
As the leader started to weaken going around the far turn, Colonial Flag and Minakshi took up the chase and took over, while Tannery was sent six wide turning into the stretch, after the mile was reached in 1:42.21.
Trained by Alan Goldberg, Tannery edged to the front in mid-stretch and appeared poised to open a few lengths, but European import Fitful Skies and jockey Fabrice Veron, who had been tucked in fourth, had other ideas, battling back on the inside right to the wire.
Another import, English-based Moment in Time, with jockey Ryan Moore, charged up on the outside to finish third, two lengths further back, while Minakshi was fourth, in a final time of 2:07.13. The first three finishers were all bred in Ireland, although Tannery has been U.S.-based since being purchased in Ireland by Santulli during the summer of 2012.
“It feels great,” said Rosario, who was riding Tannery for the first time. “I just let her be happy, trying to save some ground. After that, I started to make a little move early. I thought I was going to take over (and pull away) in mid-stretch but that horse on the inside (Fitful Skies) was fighting all the way.”
Tannery had arrived for the E.P. Taylor fresh from a runner-up tally, a half-length behind stablemate and Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf-bound Laughing in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl, September 28 at Belmont Park. Earlier in the year, the four-year-old daughter of 2007 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Dylan Thomas, out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, Danse Grecque, had taken the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay in May at Belmont as well.
“That's the way she wants to run,” added Goldberg. “I was a little worried about three jumps from the wire when the other horse (Fitful Skies) started coming back. Joel saved a little ground down the backside, brought her out where she wants to be and it worked out perfect. She's a very nice horse and we'll have a nice year with her next year.”
Tannery earned $300,000 for her first Grade 1 win, upping her career bankroll to $763,294, while notching her sixth victory (but only her second in North America) in 19 starts.
As the favourite, Tannery returned $6, $3.80 and $3.10, combining with 7-1 Fitful Skies ($6.90, $4.30) for a $48.50 (10-7) exactor. A 10-7-5 (Moment in Time, $5) triactor was worth $260.60, while a $1 Superfecta [10-7-5-4 (Minakshi)] paid $532.95.