TORONTO, August 28, 2022 – Woodbine’s Sunday card of racing showcased graduates of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s sales competing for over $600,000 in purses across four stakes events.
Rookies navigated 6 ½ furlongs on the Tapeta in the $202,000 Simcoe Stakes for colts and geldings, and the filly companion $201,600 Muskoka Stakes. The $100,400 Elgin Stakes, for colts & geldings, and matching $100,000 Algoma for fillies, both over 7 panels on the Tapeta, highlighted 3-year-olds.
Talk to Ya Later, a $17,000 purchase at the 2020 CTHS Canadian Premier Yearling Sale, was given a perfect ride from Emma-Jayne Wilson in the Algoma.
A four-horse tussle emerged in the early stages of the race, as 2-5 mutuel choice Baksheesh was engaged by Chroma, Absolute Jewel and Unable, as Wilson and Talk to Ya Later patiently watched the proceedings unfold from the rear.
In front by a head after a quarter in :23.59 and two lengths ahead through a half in :46.59, Baksheesh rounded the turn for home with a charged-up Talk to Ya Later poised to pounce.
The dark bay filly, owned by Piano Bar Racing, and trained by Ian Black, narrowed the gap with each stride and was only a head behind Baksheesh at the stretch call. Talk to Ya Later then powered by and went on to notch a 3 ½-length win. Baksheesh was second, Chroma finished third and Absolute Jewel fourth.
The final time was 1:24.43.
“When I saw them line up four across the track in front of me and I had a nice pretty position behind, I was pretty happy with that,” said Wilson. “She’s got a lovely, big old stride on her. She knows to quicken, and she knows to run on, and she did that today.”
It was the second win from three starts for Talk to Ya Later, who broke her maiden first time out, last November at Woodbine. She arrived at the Algoma off a seventh-place finish on August 6.
“She showed us [that she had talent] last fall,” said Black. “When we bought her, the way she was bred, we thought she’d need two turns, and she still might be better doing that.”
Bred by Charles Fipke, the daughter of Perfect Timber-Sea the Awesome (IRE) paid $10.10 for the win in what was her first stakes appearance.
Full Screen, under Jeffrey Alderson, made his first stakes engagement a winning one, taking the Elgin in impressive fashion.
Trained by Julie Belhumeur for owner Nidel Charfi, the dark bay son of Big Screen-Lydenshire hadn’t won since his 3-year-old debut in February at Tampa Bay Downs.
On Sunday, Full Screen was full value for the victory, sprinting away from his rivals down the lane to record a 4 ¾-length victory in a time of 1:23.35. Giant Teddy, the 7-5 choice, was second. Dissectologist rallied to finish third, while Chairman Bob was fourth.
Four horses, including Full Screen, battled for the early lead, with longshot Big Warden emerging on top and taking his eight rivals through an opening panel in :23.65.
Alderson then guided Full Screen to the lead, one length on top after a half in :46.22, running comfortably on the front end as the duo straightened for home. Ahead by three at the stretch pole, reached in 1:10.10, the pair skipped away for the easy win.
“It kind of worked out to our gameplan that we had set up,” said Alderson. “He doesn’t like being poorly placed and the last couple races we wanted to change things up, but he didn’t really enjoy it, so we went back to what works, and today was a day where it worked.”
Bred by Spring Farm, the gelding finished eighth in his only 2-year-old start, last November, before the maiden-breaking victory in Florida.
After a pair of thirds, a second, a fifth and a seventh, Full Screen delivered his most impressive performance in the Elgin.
“A really good horse, he has a lot of talent,” said Belhumeur, who celebrated her first Woodbine stakes win. “Unfortunately, very immature still. We are working on that. We tried a different kind of racing and the last couple times on the turf didn’t work out too good, but the horse has been training well, and he’s been running well on the Tapeta, so we just figure we’ll keep him on it, and go with the flow.”
A $9,500 purchase at the 2020 CTHS Canadian Premier Yearling Sale, the Ontario-bred paid $11.50 for the Elgin win.
Gran Spirited, trained by dual Hall of Famer Mark Casse, delivered a spirited effort, riding the rail to victory in the Simcoe Stakes.
Sent off at 6-1 in the 14-horse field, Gran Spirited, with Declan Carroll in the irons, was prominent early, tracking the early leaders through an opening quarter reached in :22.87. Moving into second spot, Gran Spirited was a head behind Housebuilder after a half in :46.08.
As the field rounded the turn for home, Carroll roused the son of Shaman Ghost-Granny Broughton, who then briefly appeared to have stalled, but regrouped to surge to the front and held off a hard-charging Twin City for a neck triumph. Wickedblackbullet was third, with Housebuilder in fourth. Cadfael was scratched.
The final time was 1:18.23.
“He’s very professional throughout the post parade and race,” praised Carroll. “I kind of let him fall asleep on me probably a little earlier than he should have. He takes a bit of going. But that’s just greenness. He’s going to improve a lot after that, and I look forward to him progressing throughout the year.”
After a sixth-place result in his career bow on July 17, Gran Spirited came back 12 days later to break his maiden in a 6-furlong turf race.
Owned by Heste Sport Inc., who co-bred as Norse Ridge Farms with Delaware Run Farm, Gran Spirited paid $14.20 for a $2 win ticket.
“Just stick it out,” advised owner-breeder René Hunderup. “Do it. Once you make the decision, don’t bend backwards, keep on moving forward and eventually you will succeed. Keep breeding up, keep breeding better.”
Hunderup is thrilled about the one who didn’t get away.
“I don’t know what to say. Everyone had an opportunity to bid [at the sale], and I have to thank the underbidder. We were $1,000 apart and I would have let the horse go but thank God I didn’t.”
Anam Cara, trained and owned by Sarah Ritchie, was full of run late to capture the Muskoka Stakes.
Fresh off an impressive debut effort, the daughter of Frac Daddy-Me Love arrived at her first stakes try in solid form.
Leaving from post eight in the 12-horse field, Anam Cara, with Patrick Husbands riding, settled into seventh spot as longshot Beyla Be Good took the lead and guided her rivals through an opening quarter in :22.46, as Rifling followed in second, with Trick and Treat third.
Souper Sinclair, at 44-1, held a head advantage over Rifling at the half in :45.52, while 2-1 choice Anam Cara was still seventh and waiting for her cue from Husbands.
Anam Cara picked up the chase on Souper Sinclair down the lane, with the former powering by to take control and go on to a 1 ¾-length victory in a time of 1:17.61.
The journey to victory didn’t exactly start off on the right foot.
“She won a big race today,” said Husbands. “I got to the gate. I looked down. I always look down, and when I look down, I see the shoe halfway on. And only one more horse to go and I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ So, you know, she blows the shoe, and she still showed us she was the best today.”
Anam Cara, a $3,000 purchase at the 2021 CTHS Canadian Premier Yearling Sale, delivered Ritchie with a milestone moment.
“First stakes win ever, actually. It’s pretty exciting. She’s a really nice filly. And I liked her a lot right from the start. She hasn’t disappointed yet.”
This year’s Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s Premier Yearling Sale will be held on Wednesday, August 31, at 12 noon (ET) in the Woodbine Sales Pavilion.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications