TORONTO, August 12, 2022 – The Ontario Sire Heritage Series launched Friday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack with a pair of $100,000 stakes, the Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

The five-furlong Inner Turf events are part of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series, an eight-leg stakes series open to Ontario Sired 3-year-olds, to be contested at Woodbine and Fort Erie racetracks. The Lake Huron and Georgian Bay were originally scheduled for Sunday, August 7, but were cancelled, along with the rest of the card, due to extreme heat.

First up was the Lake Huron, for sophomore colts and geldings.

A speed duel emerged from the outset of the race, as Uncle Joe, to the inside, and Light the Lamp tussled on the front end, the pair taking the five-horse field (Chairman Bob was scratched) through a brisk opening quarter in :21.26, as even-money choice Silent Runner and jockey David Moran watched the pacesetters throw down from in third.

Light the Lamp gained the upper hand as the field approached the turn for home, but Silent Runner, winner of last year’s Frost King Stakes, loomed as a major threat to his outside.

Silent Runner grabbed the lead mid-way in the stretch drive and went on to notch a 1 ½-length score. Light the Lamp, who held for second, was subsequently disqualified and placed last for interfering with Souper Rush in the early stages of the race. Bossy Holiday was placed second and Uncle Joe was elevated to third.

The final time for the race over firm going was :56.78.

It was the fourth win, to go along with a trio of thirds in 10 starts for Silent Runner, trained by Michael Doyle. The dark bay colt is bred and owned by C. Scott Abbott Racing Stable.

Horse people and others gathered in the winner’s circle, donning purple shirts, to celebrate a ‘Happy Heavenly 60th Birthday’ in honour of the late Martha Gonzalez, wife and assistant trainer to Nick Gonzalez. ​

Silent Runner paid $4.30, $3.20 and $2.10. Bossy Holiday ($4.80, $2.80) rounded out a $25.20 exactor. Uncle Joe ($3.20) completed an $80 triactor, while a $1 superfecta with Souper Rush returned $77.80.

Breathing Fire (#1) crossed the wire first in Friday’s Georgian Bay. (Michael Burns photo)

In the Georgian Bay, for fillies, 3-5 Breathing Fire was full of run late to notch her first stakes score in a time of :56.66. The margin of victory was 2 ¾ lengths.

Trained by Sid Attard for owner-breeder Howard Walton (Norseman Racing Stable), the dark bay is now 4-0-2 from eight career starts.

Pleasure’s Gold, trained by Tino Attard was second, while Forest B, trained by Tino’s son and Sid’s nephew, Kevin Attard, was third.

A daughter of Signature Red-Poke the Dragon, Breathing Fire broke her maiden last October and followed it up with another victory at the start of December.

She paid $3.40, $2.30 and $2.10. Pleasure’s Gold ($4.50, $3) rounded out a $13.20 exactor. Forest B ($3) completed a $41.70 triactor, while a $1 superfecta with American Gamble returned $84.40. Thatsitthatsall was scratched. ​ ​