Ballingarry the winner of the Canadian International with Mick Kinane up.
In the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine, eight horses faced the starter aiming for the winner's share of the $1.5 million purse, and possibly a trip to the Breeders' Cup Turf. Heavy rains late last week rendered the course yielding for the day. The favorite was Falcon Flight, who finished fifth in the Arlington Million in August. Also in the field was Yavana's Pace , the oldest Group 1 winner in history at age ten. Yavana's Pace set the pace with initial fractions of 25.52, 52.03, 1:17.97, and 1:43.07. Aidan O'Brien trainee Ballingarry stalked him the whole way and at the top of the stretch jockey Mick Kinane asked him and he responded, drawing clear and winning easily in a time of 2:31.68 for the 12 furlongs. Falcon Flight came on late and beat the pacesetter by four lengths at the line but was 2 1/4 lengths short of the winner.
Winning jockey Mick Kinane said, "He was full of himself today, he enjoyed himself. He loved the experience and was at the top of his game. In the stretch, I had a little peek and I knew we had a good pace. I picked up and knew if something wasn't close and on my tail hanging on to me, they'd be in trouble."
Assistant trainer T.J. Comerford said: "Aidan [trainer O'Brien] ran him last time at the Curragh just to give him a chance and he ran well, 2 1/2 lengths to Vinnie Roe, so we had to come here. He was training very easy. We took him out to the dirt track on Friday to do a little bit, and when we took him out to the grass, he absolutely loved it."
Purse: $1,500,000 Distance: 1 1/2 miles turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Ballingarry Kinane 10.20 5.40 4.40 6 Falcon Flight Valenzuela 4.30 3.40 1 Yavana's Pace Dalgleish 9.00
On the undercard was the companion event, the Grade 1 $750,000 E. P. Taylor Stakes for the turf distaffers. Last year's second place finisher Volga was sent off as the favorite, with jockey Jerry Bailey in to ride. Early on, Corey Nakatani got an easy lead aboard Neil Drysdale trainee Nadia, taking a leisurely stroll of the course with initial fractions of 29.70 and 57.93. Kevin Darley, aboard the 11-1 shot Fraulein, had seen enough by this point and went on to the lead, and would not look back, holding off late charging Alasha by a length in a final time of 2:10.03, the slowest ever in the race since the current turf course was built in 1994. Bailey said of the ridiculous pace, "It was pedestrian. You could have timed it with a sundial."
Winning jockey Kevin Darley said, "We literally walked for the first three quarters of a mile. Thankfully she just held on. I would call it excellent ground out there. It's in excellent condition. Great track to ride around."
Winning assistant trainer Peter Boothman said, "She does have a great turn of foot and when she kicks on, and got those three or four lengths on them, that meant they would have a tough time to catch her. Woodbine is fantastic, the hospitality is fantastic."
Purse: $750,000 Distance: 1 1/4 miles Turf Fillies & Mares
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Fraulein Darley 24.40 9.50 4.50 6 Alasha Murtagh 5.90 4.10 5 Volga Bailey 2.30
Earliest in the card was the Grade 3 Highlander for the sprinters. Heavy favorite Wake At Noon ran as expected, getting the lead in the final furlong and holding off the late running Cheap Talk in a time of 1:09.72. Trainer Abraham Katryan said, "It was no shock to see the way he ran today, but I think he can be even better than he showed. He's the pride and joy of the barn and he gets better every day." Jockey Emile Ramsammy added, "He's just awesome right now and he just gets better with age. He's just a terrific athlete."
After the main event was the Chief Bearhart Stakes for older horses at 10 furlongs on the turf. Stage Classic stalked Kimberlite Pipe for nine furlongs and then put him away in the last panel, holding off the late closer Queensgate. The final time of 2:06.08 was almost four seconds faster than the E.P. Taylor Stakes. Trainer Dave Cotey said, "He always tries his heart out and he made no mistakes. He got the job done." Jockey Ray Sabourin added, "He keeps going and doesn't seem to tire. I thought Kimberlite Pipe was going to steal it, but he really dug in."
Canadian International and E.P. Taylor Stakes links:
- Canadian International official site from Woodbine
- Woodbine Stable Notes - lots of Canadian International info now and updated frequently
- Woodbine Daily Sheet - from Jim Mazur and Jim Bannon
- World Series Racing Championship - the International is part of this series so lots of info here
- Past Performances - in Adobe Acrobat format for the International from the Daily Racing Form (available Friday)
- Canadian International Special from Equibase with free program, past performances, ChartPlus, and articles
- Current weather
- Scratches and changes
- SLAM! Horse Racing - Canadian horse racing coverage
- WayMoreSports.com Horse Racing - more Canadian racing news
- TSN Horse Racing - more Canadian racing news
- News Index Search - should pick up some articles from the various online news sources
- 2001 Canadian International won by Mutamam and the E.P. Taylor Stakes won by Choc Ice.
- 2000 Canadian International won by Mutafaweq and the E.P. Taylor Stakes won by Fly For Avie.
- 1999 Canadian International won by Thornfield and the E.P. Taylor Stakes won by Insight.
Check back for results late Sunday evening.
All photos ©2002 Cindy Pierson Dulay, licensed to About