Sulamani, one of Thoroughbred racing's true international superstars, wrapped up his on-track career with a bang Sunday, winning the $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International by 1 1/2 lengths.
Bypassing next Saturday's $2 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf in Texas, Sulamani instead raced well back in the field through the first mile of the International at Woodbine, near Toronto. The 5-year-old son of Hernando then swung three-wide into the stretch and went by longshot Simonas for the victory. Brian Boru was third.
Sulamani now is headed for a second career at stud with earnings of more than $5 million. He retires as winner of nine of his 17 starts, including Group 1 races in Canada, France, England, Dubai and the United States. He also posted three seconds and one third.
Furthering his international credentials, he was bred in Ireland by the Greek-native Niarchos family and is owned by the Dubai-based Godolphin Racing. His sire was bred in France. And his jockey, Frankie Dettori, was born in Italy, the son of a 13-time Italian champion rider.
"He would match with the very best of them" said Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford. "He's a top-notch performer and his record is superb. He's won Group 1 races in so many different nations. He's a great international horse -- top, top class. We've really enjoyed having him in the stable.
Also Sunday at Woodbine, Commercante closed nicely on the outside during the stretch run to win the $750,000 (Canadian) E.P. Taylor Stakes for fillies and mares by 1/2 length over the favorite, Punctilious. Classic Stamp finished third. Commercante, a 4-year-old, French-bred filly, is trained by Bobby Frankel. John Velazquez rode her over 1 1/4 mile of "good" turf in 2:04.02.
Commercante was a good second to Riskaverse in the Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park in her last outing. But Frankel said he decided to go to the E.P. Taylor because Commercante would have had to be supplemented to next Saturday's $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. "I'm not a big believer in supplementing for a lot of money," he said. "We had this race. It was good enough money."
In Sunday's third big-money stakes event at the Canadian oval, I Thee Wed came from far back to win the $250,000 Nearctic Handicap at 6 furlongs on the turf. The 4-year-old Affirmed gelding, with Jim McAleney up, got to the outside as he turned for home and just got up to beat Chris's Bad Boy by a neck. Hour of Justice was another neck back in third and Dalavin was only a head back of him in fourth. The race was timed in 1:09.36.
Saturday, Victorious Ami staged a mild upset in the $250,000 (Canadian) Princess Elizabeth Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. The Ontario-bred daughter of Victory Gallop, winless in three previous starts, stalked the pace between rivals, moved up on the turn and went by to score by 1 3/4 length. Smartest Thing came from farther back to be second and Dancehall Deelites was third after leading at the top of the lane. Victorious Ami, with Emile Ramsammy up, ran 1 1/16 mile in 1:48.44. "She took a lot of riding but prevailed," said Ramsammy. "Hopefully, she can be an Oaks horse next year."
In other weekend racing:
Calder Race Course
Saturday's "Festival of the Sun" featured a well-anticipated rematch between Cin Cin and B.B. Best in the $400,000 Affirmed Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. Each had won a leg of the series coming into the rich finale but it was B.B. Best living up to his name in the finale, winning by 1 3/4 lengths. Anthony J. rallied to take second in the 13-horse field with Closing Argument third. Cin Cin could do no better than seventh. B.B. Best, a son of Yes It's True, ran the 1 1/16 mile in 1:47 3/5 under Eddie Castro. Trainer Eddie Plesa said attempts to rate B.B. Best in the Affirmed Division may have cost him that race so he told Castro to "let him run away from them and let him run his race" Saturday. It worked, as B.B. Best seized the lead quickly and led way home. "I saved some horse and he finished good," Castro said. Plesa said his colt "has had a tough campaign and it's given us time to regroup."
The 2-year-old filly series resulted in a sweep for the aptly named Aclassysassylassy. Making her first start around two turns in Saturday's $400,000 My Dear Girl Division, the gray Wild Event filly bested Babaganush by 3 1/2 lengths, with Yes It's Gold third. The 1 1/16 mile went in 1:48 1/5. Aclassysassylassy now has four wins from five starts. "She got me out of hock," said winning trainer David Vivian. "Six months ago, I was borrowing money off my buddy to make payroll and that's no joke. That's how this business goes." He said Aclassysassylassy is bred for turf on both sides of her pedigree so he may try her in the John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf on Florida Million day Nov. 13. "I hate to take her off the dirt, though, because you don't mess with something that's working," he added.
Eddington, making his first start on the lawn, won Saturday's $200,000 Calder Derby by a head over Bob's Proud Moment. The son of Unbridled, with Eibar Coa in the irons, ran 9 furlongs on firm turf in 1:51 1/5. Capias was home third but disqualified to last, promoting Caballero Negro to show money. Eddington, a son of Unbridled, finished third in the Preakness and fourth in the Belmont earlier this year. "He deserves to win one of these graded stakes," said winning trainer Mark Henning. "It opens the door for a lot of opportunities for him. ... I've seen a progression in his last three or four races in his desire to be more competitive." Henning said the colt is done for the year but will race as a 4-year-old.
Hopelessly Devoted, claimed last December at Calder for $25,000, returned to win Saturday's $200,000 Calder Oaks by 2 3/4 lengths over Vous. Skip Command was third, completing a $3,032.20 trifecta. Hopelessly Devoted, a Florida-bred daughter of Storm Creek, ran 9 furlongs in 1:51 2/5 in her first start on the grass. "Her action seemed to suggest she would like the turf so we took a shot and it worked to our advantage," said winning trainer Sandra Slivka.
Redoubled Miss surged to the lead turning for home in Saturday's $100,000 Shocker T. Handicap for fillies and mares and held on to beat Maria's Image by 1/2 length. Sniffles was third. Redoubled Miss, a daughter of Adhocracy, ran the 1 1/16 mile in 1:47 1/5. In the $100,000 Spend A Buck Handicap, Built Up took the lead at the top of the lane and survived a late bid from Super Frolic to win by a head. Gold Dollar was third. Built Up, a Homebuilder gelding, ran the 1 1/16 mile in 1:45 4/5.
Golfer Gary Player's 2-year-old, G P's Black Knight, got the lead with a furlong to go in Saturday's $75,000 Birdonthewire Stakes and won by 3 lengths over Kohut. Lucky Frolic was third. Player is a major thoroughbred owner/breeder in his native South Africa but races sparingly in North America. In the companion $75,000 Cassidy Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, Running Bobcats came from just behind the pace to win by 5 3/4 lengths over favorite Lady in Pink. Snug Harbor was third.
Changing World led from the start in upsetting Friday night's $200,000 Violet Handicap for fillies and mares. The 4-year-old daughter of Spinning World set a moderate pace in front of a half-dozen rivals and won by 1 1/4 lengths over High Court, who raced last until the turn for home. The odds-on favorite, Ocean Drive, was always close but finished third, a head back of High Court. Changing World ran 1 1/16 mile on "good" turf in 1:41.53.
Habaneros upset Saturday's $100,000 Carleton F. Burke Handicap, leading from the start, setting a sluggish pace and winning by 3/4 length over fellow 14-1 longshot Pellegrino. Gallant, at 29-1, finished third while the favorite, Continuously, struggled home seventh. Habaneros, a 5-year-old Tabasco Cat gelding, ran the 1 1/2 mile on firm turf in 2:26.91, toting David Flores. "I knew we were walking," Flores said of the tardy pace. "It was just a matter of who was going to move early but nobody was in a rush so I took my time on him."
Also Saturday, Seattles Best Joe rallied from the back of the pack to win the $75,000 Sunny Slope Stakes for 2-year-olds by 1 length over Chips Are Down. Senor Fango was third. Seattles Best Joe, a Washington-bred son of Personable Joe, got the 6 furlongs in 1:09.82 for jockey Victor Espinoza.
Sunday, Hello Lucky led most of the way to a 3/4-length victory over No Bull Baby in the $75,000 Anaakia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Hello Lucky, a Florida-bred daughter of Lucky Lionel, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:10.00 under Gary Stevens.
Sister Swank caught Jinny's Gold with a 16th of a mile to go in Saturday's $100,000 Valley View Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and drew clear to win by 1 1/4 length. Shadow Cast was third. Sister Swank, a daughter of Skip Away, got the 1 1/16 mile on yielding turf in 1:46.75 with Pat Day up. "The ground is getting chewed up," Day said. "She was slow to find her best stride but once she got there, she found her best gear."
Sunday, Humaita dueled to the wire with Aud in the $150,000 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes for fillies and mares with Humaita winning by a nose. Literacy was third. Humaita, a 4-year-old, German-bred filly by Surumu, ran the 1 1/2 mile on soft turf in 2:33.28. Robby Albarado was up for trainer H. Graham Motion.
Spite the Devil stumbled at the start of Saturday's $250,000 Empire Classic for New York-breds, then was bumped around and settled last in the 14-horse field. But then jockey Javier Castellano got the 4-year-old Devil His Due gelding moving on the backstetch, sent him five-wide around the turn, wore down the leaders and won by a head over West Virginia. Mr. Determined led briefly and held on for third. Spite the Devil ran the 9 furlongs in 1:50.23.
On the Bus was in the winner's circle after Saturday's $150,000 Ticonderoga Handicap for state-bred fillies and mares on the inner turf course. The 4-year-old Ghazi filly was always close to the lead, then rallied on the outside to win off by 2 lengths. Sabellina was second and Little Buttercup was third. On the Bus ran 9 furlongs on a "good" surface in 1:50.14.
Friendly Island led from gate to wire in Saturday's $125,000 Hudson Handicap for state-bred sprinters, beating favorite Clever Electrician by 3 1/4 lengths. Papua was third. Friendly Island, a 3-year-old son of Crafty Friend, ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.49 for John Velazquez.
Irish Colonial rallied from mid-pack to bag the $150,000 Mohawk Handicap by 1/2 length over pace-setting Certifiably Crazy, with No Parole third. The 9 furlongs on the inner turf went in 1:48.96. Irish Colonial is a 5-year-old son of Colonial Affair. Velazquez rode the winner.
Sugar Punch took the $125,000 Iroquois Handicap for NY-bred fillies and mares by 3 3/4 lengths over Beautiful America. Distinctive Kitten was third in the 7-furlong test, clocked in 1:23.10. Edgar Prado rode Sugar Punch, a 3-year-old daughter of K.O. Punch.
Saturday's 2-year-old state-bred events featured a winning favorite and an upset. Galloping Grocer, at 1-5, easily disposed of five rivals in the $100,000 Sleepy Hollow, beating Naughty New Yorker by 7 1/2 lengths with Carminooch third. With Velazquez up, the son of A.P. Jet ran 1 mile in 1:37.34. In the $100,000 Maid of the Mist for fillies, Pelham Bay ran off in the stretch to win by 4 1/2 lengths, with Karakorum Splendor second and the favorite, Megascape, fading to sixth after leading early. Pelham Bay, a Smart Strike filly, finished the 1 mile in 1:39.40.
Sunday, Crown Point stayed close to the lead in the $75,000 Pilgrim Stakes for 2-year-olds, got by the leaders in the stretch and went on to win by 3/4 length over Wallstreet Scanda. Drum Major was third and the favorite, Tadreeb, was fourth. Crown Point, a Kentucky-bred son of Honor Grades trained by David "Slam" Donk, ran 9 furlongs on the inner turf in 1:50.31.
In the companion $75,000 Miss Grillo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, Melhor Ainda hit the afterburners in the stretch, winning off by 9 lengths withoug much urging from jockey Jose Santos. The Kentucky-bred Pulpit filly finished the 9 furlongs on turf rated "good" in 1:51.28. Gemilli was second, Accretion third and the favorite, My Typhoon, blew home fourth.
Lone Star Park
Goosey Moose, after conceding the early lead in Saturday's $100,000 Assault Stakes for Texas-breds, came again in deep stretch and won by a nose over the late-closing favorite, Desert Darby. Oncearoundtwice led much of the way around the Texas oval but finished third. Goosey Moose, a 3-year-old Shaquin gelding, ran 1 1/16 mile in 1:43.21.
Native Annie, a 3-year-old Manzotti filly, came from the middle of the pack to win Saturday's $75,000 Allen Bogan Memorial for state-bred fillies and mares, running 1 mile in 1:37.46. Jester Rahab was second.
Leaving On My Mind, the heavy favorite, won Saturday's $50,000 Mocha Express for state-bred 2-year-olds by a convincing 5 1/2 lengths. The Valid Expectations gelding ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.02. Expect Will was second and Dixie Meister third in a formful finish. The companion $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes for 2-year-old, Texas-bred fillies went to the other extreme as Ms Seneca Rock rallied from far back to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Martys Expectation, returning a $947 exacta payoff. The favorite, Tuned In, was third. Ms Seneca Rock, a daughter of Seneca Jones, ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.64.
Buzz Song got home 1 length ahead of Jill Robin L in Saturday's $100,000 Blue Hen Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Jill Robin L then was sent down to fourth for interference in the stretch, elevating Secrets Galore to second and Trickle of Gold to third. Only five fillies went to the post. Buzz Song, the odds-on favorite, ran 1 1/16 mile in 1:45.99. She is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Unbridled's Song. She now has won two of three career starts.
Favorites had an easy time of it in both of Saturday's $75,000 features for state-bred 3-year-olds. Nitro Chip came from mid-pack to win the Louisiana Breeders' Derby by 1 1/2 lengths over Walk This Way, running 1 1/16 mile in 1:44.17. And Happy Ticket, after stalking the pace in the Louisiana Breeders' Oaks, drew off in the stretch to win by 7 lengths over Shes Dixies Eskimo in 1:44.32. Nitro Chip is by Finest Hour; Happy Ticket, by Anet.
Malanato led from gate to wire in winning Saturday's $50,000 Stardust Stakes for Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds. The Malagra colt set a brisk pace, then held on to beat Robbeau by a length. Z Storm was third and the favorite, St. Roch, raced evenly to finish sixth. Malanato ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.88.
Also Saturday, Screen Idol came wide into the stretch and wore down the leaders in the $75,000 Shiskabob Stakes. The 5-year-old son of Zarbyev got home 1 length ahead of Witt Ante. Little Happy was third and Meteor Impact, the favorite, was fourth. The grassy 1 1/16 mile took 1:43.09.
With Affection won Saturday's $50,000 JHRA Fillies and Mares Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths over the favorite, Lady of the Future, with Feisty Bull third. With Affection, a 3-year-old daughter of Red Ransom, ran 1 1/16 mile on yielding turf in 1:50.83. "She's a gutsy little thing," said winning trainer Eddie Gaudet.