04.22.2018

Silent Sting Continues March to Queen's Plate

With a well-timed move in the stretch engineered by jockey Luis Contreras, Stronach Stables’......

With a well-timed move in the stretch engineered by jockey Luis Contreras, Stronach Stables’ Silent Name colt Silent Sting collared 6-5 favourite Blueblood to win the $125,000 Queenston Stakes on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.

Watch the Queenston Stakes

The seven-furlong sprint for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds is one of the key prep races leading up to the $1 million Queen’s Plate, which will be held June 30 at the Toronto oval.

Making his season’s debut, Silent Sting tracked leaders Blueblood and Sable Island through opening fractions of :23.65 and :46.51 before swinging to the outside and hauling down his front-striding rivals. The Sid Attard trainee prevailed in 1:23.22 by a neck over Blueblood, with Sable Island 1-1/4 lengths back in third.

“He’s a lovely horse to ride,” said Contreras, who won half of the afternoon’s 10 races. “I had a perfect trip. I was just waiting to make my move and once I asked him to go, he gave me everything.

“I wondered how sharp he was going to be early, but he relaxed nice. I had a great trip all the way and he’s a really nice horse to ride. Sid had him very fit and ready.”
Silent Sting had finished no worse than second in four starts as a juvenile and capped off his two-year-old campaign with a victory in the Kingarvie Stakes last December. 

“He’s a classy horse. He loves what he’s doing. He loves to go out there and train and enjoy himself. Nothing bothers him,” said Attard. “Yesterday, I took him to the gate. I like to do that because he hasn’t seen the gate since last year and he just walked in and walked out like it was nothing for him. He’s a nice colt.”

Bred in Ontario by Phoenix Rising Farms, the Silent Name-Mona Mia colt was a $150,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland Sale.

The Stronach family silks were also on display earlier in the day as their Canadian Triple Crown nominated homebred Silent Poet (Silent Name-Cara Bella) broke his maiden with a dominant 5-1/2 length win in rein to Gary Boulanger.

“Today we had two Silent Name’s do well,” said Frieda Stronach. “We are having such a good beginning this year. We love Woodbine and the races and we just can’t get enough of it.”

- edited from www.woodbine.com

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04.22.2018

New Millionaire for Awesome Again: Something Awesome Takes CT Classic

Stronach Stables' homebred Something Awesome came to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on a......

Stronach Stables' homebred Something Awesome came to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on a roll, Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado arrived on a mission, and the two brought home the money April 21 in the $1.2 million Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2).

Watch the Charles Town Classic

Primarily a sprinter through most of his career, the 7-year-old Awesome Again gelding found a new dimension in March, when he was asked to go nine furlongs for the first time in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes at Laurel Park. Although he'd never won going more than seven furlongs, a 2 1/4-length score in the Harrison Johnson solidified his connections' decision to aim for the Charles Town jackpot. The win was his fourth from his past five outings.

"I knew by pedigree he could get the distance," trainer Jose Corrales said. 

Something Awesome is out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Dance Floor mare Somethinaboutlaura, a California-bred whose exploits ranged from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Awesome Again is the sire of several classic-distance performers, including three-time Charles Town Classic runner Game On Dude, who won the 2013 edition and ran second in 2011 and 2014. Something Awesome became is sire's 11th millionaire with his victory on Saturday.

"It's been pretty much just go with the flow, and not much has changed," Corrales said of stretching the gelding out. "He's a very athletic horse, so I think he can handle just about any kind of track."

Prado piloted Something Awesome to victory in the Feb. 17 General George Stakes (G3) going seven furlongs for the gelding's first graded win, and he was aboard for the stretch-out in the Harrison Johnson. They made it three-for-three together when he set the bay runner down Saturday for a closing drive.

"It was beautiful. He sat right behind the speed," Prado said. "He was kind of anxious at the beginning. He wanted to go after the leaders early, so I kind of took my time and tucked right behind horses, and I waited a little bit longer."

The pace was set by 2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1) winner Diversify, who was sent off as the 6-5 choice in a seven-horse field for his season debut. Given the green light by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. out of the gate, Diversify took command and put up opening fractions of :24.34 and :48.48 while stalked by Afleet Willy. Prado kept Something Awesome ready to rumble in sixth as Afleet Willy took over through three-quarters in 1:13.16 and shifted his mount out for a three-wide move around the final turn.

"Right around the three-sixteenths pole, he gave me a good feeling," Prado said. "He was moving forward … and, luckily, we got the job done."

War Story also mounted a bid between horses under Javier Castellano and hooked up with Something Awesome for an exciting stretch run, even heading the eventual winner briefly in their battle to the line. But Something Awesome lunged back just in time to edge War Story by a neck. It was a length back to Fear the Cowboy, who rallied for third. Afleet Willy, You're to Blame, Discreet Lover, and Diversify completed the order of finish behind a final time of 1:50.84.

Something Awesome improved his career earnings to $1,082,051, with a 9-2-6 record from 24 starts. He has won three of four starts this year, along with a third.

Prado, 50, is closing in on a major career milestone with 6,992 wins. Only seven North American riders have won more races, and they are all retired. 

"I'm very excited, very happy, and very thankful for the opportunity," Prado said. "I can't thank Mr. Corrales, The Stronach Group, all the connections enough. It's been a thrill. I'm very blessed to have this great opportunity this late in my career."

- edited from www.bloodhorse.com, Eric Jones/The Journal photo 

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