July 26, 2009
On Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack, a field of 6 older horses (after 1 scratch) went to post in the $300,000 Nijinsky Stakes (G2), a 1 1/4 mile feature run over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. Severe thunderstorms on Saturday and intermittent showers on Sunday rendered the turf course very soft, but the rains held off during the race with temperatures around 70. Canadian champion turf horse for 2008, Rahy's Attorney, was the 9-5 favorite off a victory in the King Edward last time out, over 2-1 second choice Champs Elysees, 2nd in the Santa Anita Handicap then 7th in the Elkhorn, and 7-2 third choice Spice Route, 4th in the United Nations at Monmouth last out after finishing 2nd in the Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs.
French Beret was allowed an uncontested lead of as many as 4 lengths through slow early fractions of 26.26 and 51.74, while Rahy's Attorney stalked the pace in second, in turn 8 lengths ahead of the rest of the field. Regular rider Slade Callaghan sent Rahy's Attorney to challenge for the lead after 5/8 mile, easily passing French Beret after 6 furlongs in a 1:18.06. With a quarter mile to go, French Beret tired as Rahy's Attorney opened up a 5 length advantage through 1 mile in 1:42.54. Marchfield, who raced in midpack third most of the way, put in a strong rally three wide but was left with too much ground to make up, as Rahy's Attorney easily held him off by 1 3/4 lengths in a time of 2:08.42 over the soft going. It was a long 5 3/4 lengths back to late running Champs Elysees third.