Cloudy's Knight, from trainer Frank Kirby's barn at Hawthorne Race Course, stalked the pace in Woodbine's marquee race, got to the front at mid-stretch and just lasted. At the wire, the 7-year-old Lord Avie gelding was a nose in front of the favorite, Ask, whose last outing was a Group stakes victory at Ascot.
Quijano, a German-bred who won the Grosser Preis von Baden in his last start, checked in third Sunday with a late run from the back of the field. Stream of Gold, an Irish-bred who finished second to English Channel in the Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont in his last outing, completed a $1 superfecta worth $8,901.80 (all dollar amounts in Canadian currency).
In that company, Cloudy's Knight went to the post at odds of 18-1, even though he had won his last start, the Sky Classic, in a previous trip north of the border.
"What a great race he ran. And a great race the jockey rode," said 70-year-old Kirby, referring to 25-year-old jockey Randy Zimmerman. Kirby added the gelding will be back next year as an 8-year-old. "We'll plan a big campaign for him if everything's good," he said.
Zimmerman said Cloudy's Knight "has got a lot of guts. He as never, never not tried for me … It just set up perfectly. He broke exactly how I wanted him to. Then he stalked a couple of lengths off the speed horses that were crawling … I was able to bide my time."
In Sunday's $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes for fillies and mares on Woodbine's sweeping turf course, Mrs. Lindsay stalked the pace, then won a stretch duel to score a 1/2-length victory over Sealy Hill. Barancella finished third.
Mrs. Lindsay, a 3-year-old, Pennsylvania-bred filly by Theatrical, benefited from a brisk pace set by Essential Edge, then put in her bid at the top of the stretch when asked by jockey John Murtagh. She finished the 1 1/4 miles on firm going in 2:00.58
Francois Rohaut trains the filly for Bettina Jenney.
In the day's third big stakes, Heros Reward dueled for the lead in the $500,000 Nearctic Stakes at 6 furlongs on the grass, got the lead entering the stretch and scored by 3/4 length despite ducking in and out at mid-stretch. Quietly Mine was second and the favorite, Smart Enough, was only fast enough to take third.
Heros Reward, a 4-year-old, Maryland-bred gelding by Partner's Hero, finished in 1:08.04 with Javier Castellano riding for trainer Dale Capuano.
In other racing on the weekend before the Breeders' Cup World Championship events at Monmouth Park:
It's the first of the Breeders' Cup Championship races but it was the same old story in Saturday's Grand National -- McDynamo. The Kentucky-bred son of Dynaformer, now 10 years old, won the race for the fifth straight time, easing up as he crossed the finish line 6 lengths to the good of runner-up SweetShani. Best Attack finished third. McDynamo was making only his second start of the year. In the first, he finished fourth in May. "He got here on top of his game and he showed it," said winning trainer Sanna Hendricks. The venerable gelding won the Eclipse Award as the nation's best steeplechaser in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and Saturday's win boosts him back into competition for a fourth championship.
Dr. V's Magic upset the marquee event of Belmont's New York-bred festival on Saturday, rallying from mid-pack to win by 1/2 length over Who What Win. Run Red Run finished third and the favorite, Naughty New Yorker, was a neck farther back in fourth. Dr. V's Magic, a 3-year-old colt by Raffie's Majesty, ran the 9 furlongs in 1:48.7 with Kent Desormeaux up for trainer Dominic Galluscio.
In the $125,000 Iroquois Handicap for fillies and mares, Karakorum Starlet keyed the upset exacta, leading most of the way to a neck victory over Mama Theresa. The favorite, Ice Cool Kitty, tired in the stretch to finish third. Karakorum Starlet, a 4-year-old Skip Away filly, got the 7 furlongs in 1:24.04 with Garrett Gomez up.
Giant Moon beat back repeated challenges to win the $100,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes for 2-year-olds by a head over Coastal Drive, with odds-on favorite Big Truck another neck back in third. Giant Moon, a son of Giant's Causeway, ran the 1 mile in 1:38.46 under Kent Desormeaux. In the $100,000 Maid of the Mist for 2-year-old fillies, Expect the End was quickly on the lead and rolled home first, 5 3/4 lengths in front of the favorite, Meriwether Jessica. Sibley was third. Expect the End, a daughter of Precise End, ran 1 mile in 1:38.01 for jockey Rafael Bejarano.
Al Basha came from last with a four-wide move to win the $150,000 Mohawk Handicap at 9 furlongs on the turf by 1/2 length over Spurred. Gimme Credit was third. Al Basha, a 3-year-old son of Aljabr, got the 9 furlongs in 1:53.73. In the companion $150,000 Ticonderoga Handicap for fillies and mares, Rewrite rallied around rivals on the turn and was up to win by a neck, with Factual Contender second and Latitude Forty third. Rewrite, a 4-year-old filly by Editor's Note, ran the 9 furlongs in 1:53.59 with Garrett Gomez in the irons.
Stormin Normandy led all the way and finished first by a neck over Ferocious Fires in the $125,000 Hudson Handicap at 6 furlongs, but the stewards reversed the order of finish as a result of stretch interference. I'm a Numbers Guy was third. Stormin Normandy, a 4-year-old Lite the Fuse colt, finished in 1:09.41.
Sunday's races featured a quartet of $75,000 stakes for juveniles -- two at 6 furlongs on the main track and two at 1 mile on the green course.
Cannonball, a New York-bred Catienus gelding, won the King Cougat Stakes by a nose over Sundaysunday, finishing the 1 mile on yielding turf in 1:36.92. Remarkable Remy, a New York-bred Hennessey filly, captured the Swinging Mood Stakes for distaffers by a neck over Return to Paradise in 1:38.32.
Smoke'n Coal, a Florida-bred colt by Smoke Glacken, got home first by 2 lengths in the Grand Slam Stakes, finishing in 1:09.56 with Rollers second and the favorite, Sargent Seattle, fourth. And in the Open Mind Stakes for fillies, Porte Bohnheur rallied from near-last to win by 3 1/2 lengths over Freakstein. Porte Bohnheur is a Kentucky-bred Hennessey filly.
Eastern Delite caught pace-setting, odds-on favorite Confucius Say at the top of the stretch in Saturday night's $500,000 West Virginia Breeders' Classic and took charge down the lane, winning by 4 lengths. Eastern Delite held on for second, 1 length ahead of Double Tollgate. Eastern Delite, a 4-year-old Eastover Court gelding, covered the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:54.05 under Oscar Flores.
In the $350,000 West Virginia Jefferson Security Bank Cavada, Carnival Chrome seized the lead on the backstretch, opened a comfortable advantage and held on gamely down the stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths over the odds-on favorite, Julie B. Shesagrumptoo finished third. Carnival Chrome, a 5-year-old Carnivalay mare, ran the 7 furlongs in 1:26.12 under Travis Dunkelberger.
In the 2-year-old events, Lord of Dance led all the way to a 3 1/2-length victory over Pow Wow Power in the open division and We're In the Money also came from off the pace to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Burnwell Princess in the filly division.
Gold Standard came from off the pace to win the open 3-year-old event at 7 furlongs, beating Blues in the Night by a head in the final strides. In the 3-year-old filly event, B's Wild Rush broke last of 10 but used a bold move around the turn to take the lead and won by 12 lengths, ridden out through much of the stretch. Glorious Appearing was best of the rest.
Missacity Luke won the 4 1/2-furlong Dash for Cash by 3 lengths over Not for Sam in 52.17 seconds and Hello Out There rallied from well off the pace to capture the "Onion Juice" Classic at 7 furlongs by 2 3/4 lengths over Pagan Moon.
Going Ballistic, the even-money favorite, ran last early and finished first in Sunday's $300,000 Centennial Oklahoma Derby, coasting home 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Reporting for Duty. Sumac was third. Going Ballistic, a Florida-bred colt by Lite the Fuse, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:49.74 under Tim Doocy. Donnie Von Hemel trains the colt for Kindred Thoroughbreds.
Ascertain pressed the pace in Sunday's $100,000 Remington Green Stakes, surged to the front at mid-stretch and held on gamely to win by 1/2 length. Red Rock Creek was second and Smooth Bid finished third. Ascertain, a 5-year-old, Irish-bred gelding by Intikhab, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:43.52 under Larry Melancon.
Also Sunday, Golden Yank posted a minor upset in the $100,000 Remington MEC Mile for 2-year-olds, rallying from off the pace to win by 4 3/4 lengths over Seeking the Lead. Jeri Harper finished third. Golden Yank, a Kentucky-bred colt by Yankee Gentlemen, ran the 1 mile on a fast main track in 1:38.40 with Carlos Gonzalez in the irons.
On Saturday's card: Alice Belle rallied from near the rear to win the $75,000 Remington Park Oaks by 2 lengths over Midsummer Magic, finishing the 1 mile on firm turf in 1:38.31. Alice Belle is a Kentucky-bred Street Cry filly. Alina also rallied from well back to win the $50,000 E. L. Gaylord Memorial for 2-year-old fillies by 3/4 length over Madonna Mia. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Came Home completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.66. And Valid Lil used a pace-stalking trip to win the $50,000 Ada S. for fillies and mares by 2 1/2 lengths over Lunarlady. Valid Lil, a 4-year-old, Texas-bred Valid Expectations filly, got 6 furlongs in 1:10.08.
Anofficerandalady, at odds of better than 50-1, took the lead with a sixteenth of a mile to run in Saturday's $55,000 P.G. Johnson Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and went on to win by 1 length over Featherbed. Ahvee's Destiny finished third with a late rally and the odds-on favorite, Thru n' Thru, faded from the pace to finish fourth. Anofficerandalady, a Maryland-bred daughter of Officer, ran 5 furlongs on "good" turf in 57.74 seconds under Hiram Rivera.
Mrs. Began pressed the pace set by Victory Romance early in Saturday's $250,000 (Canadian) Princess Elizabeth Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, appeared beaten at mid-stretch but then found a bit more and got up to win by a neck. Reverently was third. Mrs. Began, an Ontario-bred daughter of Jump Start, finished the 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.1 under James McAleney. It was the filly's first win in four career starts. "She just needed some time to mature," said winning trainer Reade Baker. "I was optimistic she could go this far."
Golden Doc A trailed early on in Saturday's $75,000 Anoakia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, moved out four-wide entering the stretch and won a bumping match to the wire by a neck over Foxy Danseur. Spring Awakening finished third. Golden Doc A, a California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat, ran the 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:08.7 under Victor Espinoza. Barry Abrams trains the filly and is part-owner.
In Sunday's $75,000 Jack Goodman Stakes for 2-year-olds, Wise Mandate used a pace-stalking trip and a three-wide move around the turn to set up a winning stretch drive and a big upset victory. At odds of 36-1, the Cal-bred Perfect Mandate colt finished 1 3/4 lengths ahead of favorite Guns On the Table. Remember Boffi finished third. Wise Mandate, with Corey Nakatani up for trainer Melvin Stute, ran the 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:08.42.
Southwestern Heat, a Kentucky-bred colt by Gone West out of star filly sprinter Xtra Heat, led all the way to a 3 1/2-length victory over Jacob's Run in Saturday's $50,000 Sonny Hine Stakes for 3-year-olds. Norjac finished third with a stretch rally. Southwestern Heat, with Eric Camacho in the irons, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:11.36. Southwestern Heat had been competing but not winning in added-money events all year, including a fourth-place finish in the Jersey Shore. "I'm glad we could get it done today," said Camacho. "He's matured into an older, better horse."
Cave's Valley got the jump on a quartet of rivals in Saturday's $100,000 Dover Stakes for 2-year-olds and coasted home a 5 3/4-length winner with the favorite, Atoned, second. Cudjo was only a neck farther back in third. Cave's Valley, a Florida-bred colt by Stephen Got Even, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.84. Mario Pino rode for trainer Michael Trombetta.
Omeya came from last of nine to win Sunday's $150,000 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes by 1 length over Eres Magica -- an all-Chilean-bred exacta. Jade Queen finished third and the favorite, Arosa, faded to finish last and was vanned off after the race. Omeya, a 7-year-old mare by Milt's Overture, ran the 1 1/2 miles on firm turf in 2:31.15. Mark Guidry picked up the mount from trainer Jonathan Sheppard when scheduled rider Rafael Bejarano was unable to return in time from his Saturday commitments at Belmont. "That's how it goes in this game," Guidry said. "One man's loss is another man's gain."
Jiboom, with Robby Albarado riding, got through inside the leaders into the stretch in Saturday's $300,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and drew off smartly to win by 4 1/2 lengths. The favorite, West Coast Swing, rallied from near the back of the 13-filly field to finish second and Mini Sermon was up for third. Jiboom, a Kentucky-bred filly by Mizzen Mast, finished 7 furlongs in 1:22.01. "She just sprinted home," Albarado said. "I hit her a time or two just to keep her mind on it. She galloped out awful well, too. She's a very nice filly."
On Thursday, the venerable and suddenly versatile Illinois-bred Fort Prado overcame a rough start and rallied through the stretch to win the $100,000 Woodford Stakes by a head over the favorite, T.D. Vance. Atticus Kitty was third. Fort Prado, a 6-year-old son of El Prado, owned and operated by Team Block, covered the 5 1/2 furlongs on "good" turf in 1:03.2 under Rene Douglas. Trainer Chris Block said his father, David, "deserves all the credit for this. He's been begging me to move him to the sprints for a couple of years now. He's been so successful at two turns that we were all hesitant to do it."
Friday, Bel Air Beauty rallied beautifully with a wide trip to win the $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by 2 1/2 lengths over Bachata. Pitamakan finished third. Bel Air Beauty, a Kentucky-bred Smart Strike filly, covered 1 1/16 miles on "good" turf in 1:44.39 with mark Guidry up for trainer Frankie Brothers.
Wind Water went quickly to the front in Saturday's $60,000 Bay Meadows Speed Handicap and held on to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Court the King. Tontine Too was third. Wind Water, a 5-year-old, California-bred gelding by Bold Badgett, got the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.23 under Chad Schvaneveldt.
Citi Girlfriend led from gate to wire in Sunday's $60,000 Permian Basin Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, winning by 1 3/4 lengths over the odds-on favorite, Dubit. Sweet Roseman finished third. Citi Girlfriend, a New Mexico-bred daughter of Le Grande Danseur, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:12.4 under Jorge Bourdieu.