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Lodge Hill in the winner's circle with co-owner Bill Bristow

Breeders' Stakes Results

Dateline: 8/12/00
By: Terence Dulay

On Saturday afternoon at Woodbine, Scatter the Gold was attempting to follow in the footsteps of his dam, 1991 champion Dance Smartly, and become the seventh winner of the Canadian Triple Crown in the grassy 1 1/2 mile Breeders' Stakes. Unfortunately, it was not to be. New York invader Lodge Hill, trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by R. Bristow Farm and Eugene Melnyk, foiled him with a daring ride by new jockey Mike Smith.

The early pace set by Pete's Sake over the firm course was brisk, covering the initial quarter mile in 23.22 and the half in 47.90. He gave way to Master Stuart, who got the 3/4 in 1:13.55 and the mile in 1:39.49. At that point the closers made their moves to the front, with longshot Allende setting the 1 1/4 mile fraction in 2:04.21.

At the top of the stretch, the odds-on and sentimental favourite Scatter the Gold appeared to be blocked by the three-horse wall of For Our Sake, Master Stuart, and Allende, with eventual winner Lodge Hill to his inside. As the wall backed up into him, Scatter the Gold's jockey Todd Kabel had no choice but to attempt to swing outside the tiring Allende in order to bid for the win. Mike Smith had better luck while this was happening. A hole opened up between For Our Sake on the rail and Master Stuart which was just wide enough to guide Lodge Hill through to victory. Lodge Hill stopped the clock in a respectible 2:28.97, defeating Master Stuart by three widening lengths. Scatter the Gold came on strong in deep stretch but just missed second by a neck with Allende another neck back in fourth.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
 6   Lodge Hill         Smith            9.00    5.10  3.00
 5   Master Stuart      Montpellier              6.90  6.00
 4   Scatter the Gold   Kabel                          2.10

Winning Time:  2:28.97

$2 Exacta 6-5                45.50
$2 Trifecta 6-5-4            72.40
Results Chart

The field of seven breaks from the gate in the 110th running of the Breeders' Stakes.

Lodge Hill takes command and wins the Breeders' Stakes going away. Jockey Mike Smith dedicated the ride to Lodge Hill's regular rider John Velazquez who is out with a broken collarbone. "The only anxious part was just before we headed for home finding him a place to let him run. Once I did he exploded. Once we straightened up down the backside and he switched over to his right lead I was pretty comfortable. He was back in the bridle and was into the race then."

Jockey Mike Smith raises his arms in victory. "I had never been on him before. Todd told me a lot about him, what to expect from him. He was right on cue. He told me that the mile and one half would be no problem for him. He's by Cozzene out of a Caveat mare. He's bred up and down for the grass. Distance should be no trouble. He said just wait for the last quarter of a mile and that's what we did."

Woodbine president David Willmot (right) presents the trophies to (left to right) trainer Todd Pletcher, and co-owners Bill and Iris Bristow of R. Bristow Farm. Pletcher said: "We very much wanted to win this race with this horse. When you point a horse towards a race a long, long time ago, and it all comes together it makes all the hard work that much sweeter. We'll take him home to New York tomorrow morning and regroup in New York." He is planning to go next in the Lawrence Realization at Belmont Park in September, and then to the Canadian International back at Woodbine in October.

Eventual winner and 3.50-1 second choice Lodge Hill in the walking ring awaiting the riders-up. Co-owner Bill Bristow said "We were confident that we had a solid shot to win. And, to be honest in the last quarter of the race, I thought we were going to win. I'm certainly pleased with the outcome, not to take anything away from the competition."

Lodge Hill in the post parade. Trainer Todd Pletcher said: "This is the race we were pointing for all along. We felt the mile and a half distance and the turf was what he wanted. We decided to experiment in the Queen's Plate and he actually ran a pretty decent race considering he broke poorly. He spotted the field several lengths and was closing at the end. He's obviously a better horse on the turf."

0.60-1 odds-on favourite Scatter the Gold in the walking ring, obviously washing out (note right hind leg). Jockey Todd Kabel said: "My horse washed out today in the post parade on me. I'm not making any excuses, but I didn't find him handling the turf down the backside with me, and when I asked him to start running through the middle of the turn, he didn't have that response that he normally gives me. The horse has been running hard and today I thought he fought a game race just to finish third. I'm very proud of the horse; unfortunately we didn't win the Triple Crown, but he'll be back to fight another day."

Scatter the Gold in the post parade. Trainer Mark Frostad said: "He ran well. He ran his race but he may have been a little tired after his last race. He didn't have his usual punch at the top of the stretch and other than that he dug in and was trying all the way. We're not overly disappointed. He's made us very proud this year and he's a terrific horse. He looked to me to be pretty comfortable out there and there really are no excuses." He is planning to enter him in the Louisiana Super Derby.

Second-place finisher and 7.30-1 third choice Master Stuart in the post parade. Trainer Reade Baker said of his effort: "I was happy with how he ran. He ran good. He beat the horse I thought we had to beat (Scatter the Gold), but Lodge Hill is a nice horse."

Fourth-place finisher and 24.10-1 longshot Allende in the walking ring. He made a bold move on the far turn, going from last at the mile to first at the 1 1/4 swinging 4 wide before eventually fading in the long stretch run.

On the undercard was the Grade 3 Duchess Stakes for three year old fillies at 7 furlongs, won by 32-1 longshot Heat It Up, and delivering inaugural stakes wins to trainer Catherine Day-Phillips and jockey Gerry Olguin. The favourite was the previously undefeated Florida invader Plenty of Light, who finished third. "She's been getting better with each start out," said Phillips. "Initially we liked this filly, but she's obviously a better horse than we thought she was when we first had her."

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All photos by Cindy Pierson or Terence Dulay.

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