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Choc Ice winner of the 2001 E.P. Taylor Stakes with jockey John Murtagh up.

The E.P. Taylor Stakes

Dateline: 9/30/01

On the undercard of the Canadian International is the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes for older fillies and mares over 1 1/4 miles on the turf. As in the International, several European horses shipped over for the event, hoping to earn a berth into the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on October 27th.

Free Vacation was sent to the front early on by jockey Robert Landry and set early fractions of 26.33, 51.00, and 1:15.21 before fading to an eventual ninth place finish. German filly Abitara stalked her the entire way and gained the lead at the top of the stretch, running the mile in 1:39.46, but also could not hold on eventually finishing seventh. 3-1 favorite Keemoon, trained by Neil Drysdale, was right in behind those two but would fade at the top of the stretch to eleventh. Choc Ice, a 31-1 longshot, who had been as far back as eleventh early on, burst to the lead early in the stretch with Volga flying late behind her. Choc Ice was able to hold off Volga in the final furlong to win by a neck with Spring Oak, who had raced close up in fourth most of the way around, finishing third. The final time was 2:03.01 over the good turf course. Interestingly, the first three finishers are all French-trained, continuing a tradition of French success in this event.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place   Show
13   Choc Ice           Murtagh         64.10   28.60  14.30
 2   Volga              Santos                   9.50   6.60
 3   Lodge Hill         Darley                          4.90

Winning Time:  2:03.01

$2 Exactor 13-2             576.30
$2 Triactor 13-2-3        1,889.90
Results Chart from Equibase

Entries and background info

The finish of the E.P. Taylor Stakes with Choc Ice, Volga, and Spring Oak.

Choc Ice in the winner's circle. Trainer Robert Collet said: "I was very confident. I was wanting to come here because I love this track and town. I was very happy to come here."

Choc Ice in the walking ring. Her jockey John Murtagh said: "We got a bad draw, 13, so I decided to jump out and get over to the rail to save a little ground. I got a great run in between horses and when I asked her, she went very well. She showed a good turn of foot and battled on well for the last half furlong right up to the line. The French horses are always trained to have a good fast finish and she did there."

Volga in the walking ring. Her jockey Jose Santos said, "When I asked her to run in the last 400 meters, she really kicked in and finished very strongly. I think she's going to be a really nice filly, she's still very young. I think she has a bright future."

Third place finisher Spring Oak in the walking ring.

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All photos ©2001 Cindy Pierson Dulay and Terence Dulay, licensed to About. Canadian International logo courtesy of Woodbine Entertainment.

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