July 1, 2009
The $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes (G3) for older horses is the traditional feature at Woodbine on Canada Day, July 1. A field of 8 contested this 1 1/4 mile Polytrack feature on a partly cloudy afternoon, with Hanshin Handicap winner Vacation sent off as the 9-10 favorite for trainer Shug McGaughey. In to challenge him included top local hope and 3-1 shot Marchfield, second in the Eclipse Stakes last time out after returning from Santa Anita, and 6-1 third choice Ice Bear, who defeated Marchfield by a neck in the Eclipse last out.
Ice Bear led the procession first time past the grandstand through a quarter of 24.35, before Approval Rating took over the lead midway around the clubhouse turn to set easy fractions of 49.22, 1:14.78, and 1:39.15 with ice Bear stalking him second. At the top of the lane, Ice Bear tired allowing Approval Rating to open up by 3 lengths with 1/8 mile remaining. However, Marchfield, who was at the back of the field for the first mile, put in a strong rally the length of the stretch to pass Approval Rating inside the 1/16 pole to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths in a time of 2:03.63. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to late-running favorite Vacation third. The running time was just 0.12 seconds off Like A Gem's track record set in 2007.
Results chart from DRF