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2012 Valedictory Stakes

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Heathcote wins the 2012 Valedictory Stakes
Heathcote horse racing

Heathcote wins the 2012 Valedictory Stakes at Woodbine

© Terence Dulay
November 16, 2012

The traditional closing-day feature at Woodbine is the $150,000 Valedictory Stakes (G3) for older horses going 1 3/4 miles around three turns of the Polytrack. Rain fell through the day but cleared up in time for the feature race, with a relatively "warm" race time temperature of 46 degrees. This is also 2 weeks later than usual, as closing day had been the first Sunday in December for many years. Imperial Pippin, the only filly in the race, was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 9, off her second place finish in the Maple Leaf Stakes. In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Peyton, winner of a 1 1/2 mile allowance race last out, and 4-1 third choice So Long George, off an allowance win and making his stakes debut.

Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson sent 6-1 fourth choice Heathcote to the front and he was allowed an uncontested lead of as many as 3 1/2 lengths through easy fractions of 24.86, 50.94, 1:16.16, 1:42.19, 2:09.15, and 2:34.37, while stalked by 7-1 fifth choice Quaesitor, who in turn was as many as 18 lengths ahead of the rest of the field. Entering the stretch for the final time, Heathcote began to extend his lead, opening up by 5 1/2 lengths over the tiring Quaesitor at the 1/8 pole. Peyton, who was unhurried in sixth and as many as 24 lengths back, rallied late but to no avail, as Heathcote cruised past the post 12 1/4 lengths clear in 2:59.42. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Quaesitor third. Favorite Imperial Pippin checked in 8th.

Results chart

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