Christine Hayden's Unspurned set a swift pace and kept on going to capture Sunday's $250,000 Bison City Stakes, second leg of the filly Triple Tiara, at Woodbine.
Trained by Roger Attfield and ridden by Justin Stein, the chestnut
homebred by Lemon Drop Kid out of Banga Ridge, arrived at the 1
1/16-miles 'Poly' stake from a fifth-place run in the Woodbine Oaks
which was won by the eventual Queen's Plate champ Lexie
Following the scratch of My Heart's Love, all five remaining Bison
City starters arrived from the Oaks with Wild Catomine, runner-up that
day to Lexie Lou, sent to post as the 6-5 mutuel favourite.
Hot and Spicy broke sharply from the gate under rider Luis
Contreras, but was soon joined by Unspurned and Wild Catomine who
battled for pole position through the first turn as Contreras took back
with his mount.
Unspurned would take command down the backstretch reaching the
half-mile in :46.53 and three-quarters in 1:10.91 as Wild Catomine and
Hot and Spicy continued to track her pace. Hot and Spicy was urged into
action by Contreras through the turn and took
aim at Unspurned, but the chestnut turned back their advance and
powered to the wire a 2 1/4-length winner in a final running time of
1:45.47. Hot and Spicy stayed on for place over Paladin Bay.
Stein was happy to set the pace in the Bison City as his filly earned her first added-money score.
"I have a lot of faith in this barn's ability to have a horse ready
on the right day," said Stein. "I wasn't too worried about being on the
lead with her, she was just loping within herself. I was really
surprised to see the fractions that we set. We had
a nice breather turning for home and she stayed steady."
Unspurned, noted as being warm in the paddock on Oaks day, was saddled outside in the walking ring this afternoon by Attfield.
"She just didn't feel comfortable in there (the paddock.) She
wasn't shaky, to be honest with you, she was just hot, but I thought
there was a lovely breeze today and we decided to saddle her outside,"
Battling to take the lead was part of Attfield and Stein's plan of attack.
"She's a very competitive filly and we talked about how the race
might come up and it virtually went the way we worked it out," said
Attfield. "We just let her run her race because that's what she likes to
do and when that gray filly (Hot and Spicy) came
to her she just dug back in again. She's a tough little filly."
Unspurned banked $150,000 in victory while improving her record to 3-1-1 from seven starts.
She paid $13.80, $6.50 and $4.50, combining with Hot and Spicy
($4.90, $4.20) for a $65.50 (2-1) exactor. A 2-1-6 (Paladin Bay, $3.20)
triactor was worth $134.50. My Heart's Love was scratched.?
Starless Night shines in Shady Well
Tucci Stables' Starless Night remained undefeated with a dominant front running effort in Sunday's $150,000 Shady Well Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Nick Gonzalez, the bay daughter of Grand Slam-Victory
Romance arrived at the 5 1/2-furlong sprint for Ontario-bred juvenile
fillies off an impressive maiden win on June 28.
With Eurico Rosa da Silva in the irons, Starless Night set splits
of :21.92 and :45.24 with Eff Bee Eye and Brooklynsway keeping close
watch. Starless Night opened up at the top of the lane and sprinted
home a comfortable 2 1/2-length winner over a wide
rallying Dixie Twist. Starless Night covered 5 1/2-furlongs in 1:04.67.
Da Silva was content to show the way as Starless Night earned her first added-money score.
"When she broke, I wanted to see how the speed was in the race and
she took over very easy," said da Silva. "From there on I just dominated
the pace. She ran very strong the whole way."
The victory marked the third win from three starters on the card for the Tucci Stables, all trained by Gonzalez.
"It's one of those dream days," said Gonzalez. "That's why you get
up at quarter after three every morning and make your way to the
racetrack so you can have a day like this."
Starless Night banked $90,000 in victory, while maintaining a perfect record through two starts.
She paid $6.40, $3.50 and $2.40, combining with Dixie Twist ($4.80,
$3.40) for a $33.90 (4-7) exactor. A 4-7-2 (Brooklynsway, $3.40)
triactor was worth $140.40, while a $1 Superfecta [4-7-2-1 (Eff Bee
Eye)] came back $136.50.