A pair of Grade 3 events, the $150,000 Bold Venture and $150,000 Trillium, co-headline Saturday’s 11-race card at Woodbine Racetrack.
Set at 6 ½ furlongs over the Woodbine Tapeta, the Bold Venture, for 3-year-olds and up, has attracted 14 starters, including Candy Overload by Ontario Sire Reload.
A 4-year-old son of Mini Candy, the bay, trained by Krista Cole-Simpson, who co-owns with Denny Andrews and Northern Dawn Stable Inc, brings a mark of 3-4-1 from 12 starts into his latest test.
The gelding, known for his strong stretch rallies, arrives at the Bold Venture off an impressive win at 7 furlongs, a victory that showcased his signature late turn of foot, yielding a 2 ¼-length win in a time of 1:22.14.
Cole-Simpson is hopeful her consistent charge, 2-3-0 in his past six starts, will have some speed to chase on Saturday.
“The key is to have something for him to run at. The last time when he won, it was really exciting. Just how he closes, he was so wide in the turn, but he just flew past everyone with ease. Keveh [jockey, Nicholls] said, ‘I love this horse and he just gets better and better.’ He loves how he does everything. He came back to the barn after the win and brought him two bags of carrots.”
Cole-Simpson took notice of her stable star well before his first race, on July 12, 2020.
“His first race as a baby, we kind of threw that out because it was on the turf, and he got hit in the face with some grass and his whole face swelled up. I gave him time, gelded him, and he won his second start. I knew when he got off the trailer that he was going to be nice, when we got him from Florida. I thought, ‘This is the horse.’ He just looked the part.”
Candy Overload, bred by Andrews and Northern Dawn Stables Inc., also acts the part.
“He has a pretty big ego,” offered Cole-Simpson. “He knows he’s a good boy. If the massage therapist or anyone comes by, he’s like, ‘You don’t need to touch me. I’m perfect.’ He acts like that. He’s in good order coming into this race and he’s happy. Turf and running long aren’t his thing. He’s definitely a closing sprinter. There are some good horses here, but he deserves to be in the race.”
Other starters include Josie Carroll trainees Avie’s Flatter and Mason’s Gamble, the Mark Casse trio of Helium, Souper Stonehenge, Tap It to Win, and multiple stakes winners Nobals and Outadore.
Sprint star Pink Lloyd, now retired, won the 2020 and 2021 editions of the race.
Five accomplished Ontario breds join Candy Reload in the Bold Venture.
Secret Reserve (Giant Gizmo) was the was the winner of the 2021 Ontario Sire Heritage Series and sports a career record of 4-1-1 in 9 starts. Avie’s Flatter (Flatter) is a veteran campaigner. The six-year-old gelding won the G2 Connaught Cup at seven furlongs on the turf in 2021
Clayton (Bodemeister) has made just one start this season at four, but was second and third in the 2021 Prince of Wales and Queen’s Plate respectively. Last American Exit (Society’s Chairman) has a pair of wins at the allowance level in 2021 and is looking for his first career stakes score.
Rounding out the Ontario contingent is last out winner Mason’s Gamble (Gamble’s Exchange). The four-year-old gelding was victorious in the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes at six furlongs on the tapeta.
The 1 1/16-mile main track Trillium, for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, has drawn 13 hopefuls, a group that includes a trio of Ontario Breds.
Dreaming of Drew is the 4-1 second choice by morning line. The daughter of Speightster has a pair of stakes victories already in 2022, and was third in the G3 Whimsical. She was victorious at this distance a two-year-old in the Princess Elizabeth over the same surface.
Il Malocchio (Souper Speedy) returns to the surface and distance where she won the Bison City Stakes in 2021. She sports a 0-2-1 record from four starts thus far in 2022, the third coming in the G3 Royal Delta at Gulfstream Park in February.
November Fog was stakes placed twice last season. The daughter of Frac Daddy has an allowance victory in 2022.
For the full list of entries on August 13 at Woodbine, click here.