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Jul 01, 2011

Stately Victor goes for rare win


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Friday is Canada Day and Woodbine Racecourse will offer the $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes as the track's way of celebrating the formation of Canada as a Dominion.

Topping the list of 11 older thoroughbreds entered in the 1 1/4-mile race is 2010 Blue Grass Stakes winner Stately Victor. The four-year-old colt returns to the venue where he last won in last year's Ontario Derby.

Owned by Jack and Thomas Conway, Stately Victor has drawn post eight and will be ridden by Victor Lebron. The colt, trained by Mike Maker, is winless in his last six starts, all stakes.

Stately Victor won last year's Blue Grass at Keeneland as a 40-1 longshot and followed with an eighth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. After finishing eighth, but placed seventh, in the Belmont Stakes he was fifth in the Virginia Derby on turf before taking the Woodbine event last September.

The colt closed 2010 with a third in the Fayette at Keeneland, 10th at Churchill Downs in the Clark and runner-up as the 4-5 favorite in the Prairie Bayou at Turfway Park. He clearly likes artificial tracks.

This year in three starts all on the turf, Stately Victor was third in Sam Houston's John B Connally Turf Cup, 12th in the Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park and 11th in Churchill's Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

Easily the richest horse in this year's Dominion Day Stakes, Stately Victor has career earnings of $658,707 with three wins in 18 starts.

Local runner Southdale is back for another shot in the stakes. The five-year- old was third behind Hold Me Back and Pool Play as the 17-10 favorite in last year's renewal. Trained by Ian Black, Southdale will be ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson from post three.

A winner of four of 12 lifetime starts, Southdale is coming off consecutive fifth-place finishes at Woodbine in the Vigil and Eclipse Stakes. Owned by Roderick Ferguson, the Canadian-bred has earned $410,560.

Here is the complete field for the Dominion Day Stakes in post position order: Mint Chip, Jesse Campbell; Laureate Conductor, Eurico Rosa Da Silva; Southdale, Emma-Jayne Wilson; Don Cavallo, Luis Contreras; Center Divider, Javier Castellano; Perfect Bullet, Jim McAleney; Alcomatch, Tyler Pizarro; Stately Victor, Victor Lebron; So Elite, Patrick Husbands; Longboarder, Joe Bravo and James Street, Patrick Husbands.

Post-time for the holiday stakes is 5:21 p.m. (et).

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