May 26, 2013
The feature race on Sunday at Woodbine in Toronto was the $200,000 Connaught Cup Stakes (G2) for older horses sprinting 7 furlongs on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 60's. Something Extra was sent off as the 11-10 favorite in the field of 9 (after 1 scratch), exiting consecutive second place finishes in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint and the Shakertown (G3) at Keeneland.
In to challenge him included 11-2 second choice Hotep, fourth in a Keeneland allowance last out, and 13-2 third choice Upgrade, off a fifth place finish in the Jacques Cartier Stakes.
Jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva sent Something Extra to the lead down the backstretch and he set quick fractions of 22.64 and 45.09 over the firm course while stalked by 19-1 Bear No Joke and 10-1 Valentino Beauty. On the turn, Valentino Beauty moved up to challenge, getting within 1/2 a length of the favorite through 3/4 in 1:08.39. 8-1 Riding the River, 6th early, put in a strong late rally but Something Extra held him off by 3/4 length to win the Connaught Cup with a final time of 1:20.54. It was just a neck back to Upgrade third.
Something Extra in the winner's circle
Trainer and co-owner Gail Cox said, "He's a nice horse and he's gotten better. It was a really tough trip (in the Shakertown.) He had a wall of horses in front of him and Julien (Leparoux) just couldn't get through. It was just bad luck."
This is Something Extra's second Connaught Cup win, having also captured last year's edition.
Something Extra in the paddock
Winning jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva said, "When I warmed him up, he was so relaxed. He broke so sharp and was there to run. They opened the door (starting gate) and he wanted to be home quick. I knew he was going fast, but he was very happy. He enjoyed himself."
Second place finisher Riding the River
15-2 fourth choice Riding the River, who was Champion Turf Male in Canada for 2013, was sixth 5 lengths off the pace early under jockey Todd Kabel, then rallied late but was no match for the winner. The Dave Cotey trainee improved his record to 8 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 21 starts, earning $721,564 for owners Dominion Bloodstock, HGHR Inc., and Linmac Farm.
Third place finisher Upgrade
13-2 third choice Upgrade was seventh 4 lengths off the pace early under jockey Luis Contreras, then rallied along the inside to get third beaten 1 length at the line. The Michelle Nihei trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 8 seconds, and 5 thirds in 25 starts, earning $399,586 for owner Dennis Narlinger.
Up With the Birds wins the 2013 Marine Stakes
May 26, 2013
The undercard feature at Woodbine on Sunday was the $150,000 Marine Stakes for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack. Up With The Birds was the 6-5 favorite in the field of 5, second in the Transylvania (G3) at Keeneland after winning the Black Gold at Fair Grounds. In to challenge him included 7-5 second choice Winning Cause, winner of the Lexington (G3) last out, and 11-2 third choice Five Iron, second in the Woodstock.
28-1 longest shot Drenched went to the front first time by and set fractions of 24.25, 47.52, and 1:11.31 while stalked by 6-1 Ghost Hunter and Five Iron. Entering the stretch, Up With The Birds, last for the first 7/8, came out 4 wide and ran by the rest of the field, taking over at the 3/16 pole and drawing away through the lane to win by 4 3/4 lengths over late-running Winning Cause in 1:43.82. It was another neck back to Five Iron third.
Up With the Birds heads to the winner's circle
Winning jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva, who swept both stakes on the card, said, "He handled everything so easy. He's a wonderful animal." Asked if the colt could handle the 1 1/4 mile Queen's Plate on July 7, he added, "If it was two miles today, it would be even better."
Trainer Malcolm Pierce added, "He came into the race in good order and timing wise he's had plenty of space between races. Let's just keep our fingers crossed for six more weeks." The Sam-Son Farm owned colt will train up to the Queen's Plate.
7-5 second choice Winning Cause raced fourth 5 lengths off the pace early under jockey Julien Leparoux, rallied in the stretch but was no match for the winner, beaten 4 3/4 lengths. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 8 starts, earning $235,213 for owner Alto Racing LLC.
11-2 third choice Five Iron stalked the pace second or third under jockey Luis Contreras, but could not improve position late, finishing third beaten 5 lengths. The Brian Lynch trainee improved his record to 1 win, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 8 starts, earning $125,182 for owner-breeder Frederick Michael Allor.