By Woodbine Communications
TORONTO, October 19, 2023 — OLG Canadian Triple Crown jewel winners Velocitor and Touch’n Ride are set to compete in the $150,000 Grade 3 Ontario Derby on Saturday at Woodbine.
The Grade 3 Ontario Derby for three-year-olds is run at a mile and an eighth on the Tapeta. Saturday’s contest has attracted a field of 10.
Kevin Attard trainee Velocitor will make his return to the track after winning the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown at Fort Erie Race Track on September 12.
“Velocitor has been doing well since his Prince of Wales win,” said Attard to Woodbine Communications. “He’s had a few easy breezes since and has been feeling very good about himself.”
Owned by Al and Bill Ulwelling, Velocitor has a record of 4-1-1 from 10 starts. The son of Mor Spirit won the Coronation Futurity last November and ran fourth in The King’s Plate ahead of his Prince of Wales win.
Twin City, Cool Kiss, Stanley House and Twowaycrossing join Velocitor and Touch’n Ride as horses racing in Saturday’s Grade 3 Ontario Derby that competed in a leg of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown. All six horses raced in two of the three legs of the Triple Crown.
Layne Giliforte trainee Touch’n Ride won the mile and a half Breeders’ Stakes over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on October 1. Twowaycrossing is the only other starter in Saturday’s Ontario Derby that ran in the Breeders’.
Attard is looking forward to sending Velocitor out in Saturday’s race against some familiar Canadian bred rivals plus new opponents, including the Mark Casse trained fillies Forever Dixie and Solo Album.
“The cut back to nine furlongs should be to his liking. It’s a very competitive field and should set up to be an exciting horse race.”
With seasonal temperatures expected Saturday, Velocitor is a proven winner in cooler temperatures after winning last year’s Coronation Futurity.
“Definitely some horses enjoy the cooler weather, (Velocitor) obviously won in the fall as a juvenile, but at the same token I didn’t ever think that the heat was an issue for him in the summer months or effected his performance”, said Attard. “I think since gelding him he’s just gotten more focused and has steadily improved to get back to the type of horse we were hoping he would turn out to be.”
Justin Stein has the assignment again aboard Velocitor in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby. Stein and Attard are both seeking their first Ontario Derby victories.
The lightly raced Touch’n Ride enters with a record of 2-0-1 from 4 starts for owner/breeder Chiefswood Stables Limited. Jockey Kazushi Kimura will once again ride and is seeking his fourth consecutive victory in the Ontario Derby.
Chiefswood last won the Ontario Derby with Tiz a Slam in 2017.
The Ontario Derby will be Saturday’s ninth race. First post time is 1:15 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com, bet365, and the Dark Horse Bets app.
$150,000 ONTARIO DERBY (GRADE 3)
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Souper Blessing – Willie Martinez – Michael Trombetta
2 – American Blaze – Ryan Munger – Riley Rycroft
3 – Twin City – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Stuart Simon
4 – Cool Kiss – Louis Contreras – Michael De Paulo
5 – Stanley House – Rafael Hernandez – Michael De Paulo
6 – Velocitor- Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
7 – Touch’n Ride – Kazushi Kimura – Layne Giliforte
8 – Forever Dixie – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
9 – Twowaycrossing – Keveh Nicholls – Rodger Attfield
10 – Solo Album – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse