TORONTO, September 3, 2022 – Forester’s Fortune, at 8-1, won an eventful running of the Ontario Bred Vice Regent Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine.
Trainer Rodney Barrow felt all his 5-year-old son of Old Forester-Nursery Song needed to break his stakes maiden was an ideal trip.
He ended up getting the result he had hoped for, but not in the way he had envisioned it, in the $150,000 5-furlong sprint over the Inner Turf for Ontario Bred 3-year-olds and up.
An early scramble for the front emerged as 4-5 choice and multiple graded stakes champion Silent Poet was engaged by Mason’s Gamble, Warp Ride and Rockcrest, as the quartet slugged it out through an opening split of :21.88, while Daisuke Fukumoto, aboard Forester’s Fortune, had the chestnut settled in just off the lead group.
Moments after the opening quarter, Silent Poet was forced in at the three-eighths, bumping a rival, stumbling, and checking sharply, causing Forester’s Fortune, in behind, to be steadied, as leader Rockcrest, second in last year’s Vice Regent, started to increase his advantage over Warp Ride and Mason’s Gamble through a half in :44.73.
Forester’s Fortune and 15-1 outsider Wedgewood found room to burst through the pack in late stretch and the duo duelled to the wire, with the former winning by a head in a time of :56.90 over firm going.
But the drama wasn’t over yet.
Justin Stein, rider of last-place Silent Poet, claimed foul against the riders of Rockcrest and Warp Ride, while Jason Hoyte, in the irons of Wedgewood, claimed foul against Fukumoto.
After the claims of foul and a stewards’ inquiry, Rockcrest, who finished third, was placed last.
Days before the race, Barrow talked about Forester’s Fortune and the gelding’s need for an unfettered trip.
“Usually, when he kicks, he’s coming from off the pace. The way he kicks in, if he gets stopped, then it’s tough for him to get started again.”
On Saturday at Woodbine, he somehow found a way to get the job done.
“He always finishes fast,” said Barrow. “So, he got a bad trip still, but he’s got so much heart. He just keeps trying.”
Barrow, who started his training career in 2020, recorded his first stakes crown with the Vice Regent triumph.
“It feels so good. I still can’t get over it. I’m still waiting to get over it now.”
Forester’s Fortune got out of the gates in 2019 with a pair of third-place finishes, including in his second engagement, the Victoria Stakes. Owned by Claudia Evelyn Silvera and Archie Lee, he broke his maiden in his first start of 2020, following that effort up with another trip to the winner’s circle next time out.
Bred in Ontario by John Carey, Forester’s Fortune, sixth in last year’s Vice Regent, now sports a mark of 5-2-4 from 23 starts.
He paid $18.20, $7.20 and $4.80. Wedgewood ($13.10, $7.20) rounded out a $191.50 exactor. Warp Ride ($6.40) completed a $1,511.20 triactor, while a $1 superfecta with Mason’s Gamble returned $4,396.05.
PHOTO: Forester’s Fortune and jockey Daisuke Fukumoto winning the Vice Regent Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine. (Michael Burns Photo)