So Long George Says Goodbye to Field
Category : News
Tue 23/07/2013 - 10:00 EDT
It took Up the Hill Farm’s So Long George until the middle of his three-year-old campaign to start showing he could be a consistent contender in the middle claiming ranks. Now in his four-year-old season he’s starting to show that he could be a good middle stakes horse, as well. Coming off a just-missed fourth place showing in the Grade II TVG King Edward Stakes at Woodbine in late June, the Kentucky-bred son of Arch made it to the graded-stakes winners’ circle by wining the $200,000 Grade II Nijinsky on Sunday.
Longshots add to big superfecta payout
With Emma Jayne-Wilson up, So Long George tracked the dueling pacesetter Arctic Fern, and race favorite Grand Arch, in fourth, just a length off the lead through a quick 47.67 half-mile. Driven up the rail, he poked his head in front coming to the top of the stretch, and held on for a ¾ length win over 23-1 longshot Hampstead Heath in the 1 1/8 miles turf event. The winning 4-6 exacta paid $423.40, and with 40-1 Classic Bryce getting up for fourth, the $1 Superfecta returned $10,465.65. So Long George is now two-for-three in 2013.
Boulanger back in the stakes winners’ circle
Another horse claiming her a first career lifetime stakes win on Sunday was Leigh Court, who took the $125,000 Duchess Stakes, for three-year-old fillies over seven furlongs on the Polytrack. Racing in the lead throughout, Leigh Court pulled away convincingly to win by 5 ½ lengths over Captivating Dancer, with race favorite Sky Treasure third. The race was significant for popular veteran jockey Gary Boulanger, as it was his first stakes win at Woodbine in eight years, following a lengthy time away from riding as he recovered from serious injury suffered in a spill in 2005.
Players trying to look beyond prohibitive favorite Tepin in the September 17 Woodbine Mile will surely have their work cut out for them as the superstar mare tackles seven rivals on the grass.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday night from Fort Erie race track, where Sir Dudley Digges will try to take another step toward Canadian racing history.
On Sunday, Woodbine will host the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes, Canada’s most prestigious race. Restricted to horses foaled in Canada, the classic mile and a quarter contest has drawn a field of thirteen three-year-olds.
A spectacular card of graded stakes action has been assembled for Saturday at Belmont Park and the $1 million Ogden Phipps is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the day. The Grade 1 event for fillies and mares will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.