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Jul 02, 2015

Red Rifle shoots to victory in Dominion Day Stakes


Toronto, ON ( - Red Rifle, ridden by Alan Garcia, came from well off the pace to capture Wednesday's $150,000 Dominion Day Stakes at Woodbine.

Owned by Twin Creeks Racing, Red Rifle, sent off as the 2-1 favorite, raced in sixth through the early going of the 1 1/4-mile stakes versus six other older handicap horses. Setting the pace was Patrioticandproud, one of three in the race from the barn of trainer Mark Casse.

The favorite, trained by Todd Pletcher, went wide into the stretch passing 5-2 second pick Pender Harbour and taking on 3-1 third choice Florida Won, another Casse horse. Red Rifle battled Florida Won to the wire with the favorite posting a 1 1/4-length win over the 2014 Ontario Derby winner.

Pender Harbour, the lone millionaire in the field, held third followed by Patrioticandproud, Smooth Stone and Midnight Aria. Mystery Train was eased.

The time for the Dominion Day Stakes was 2:01,93 on Woodbine's synthetic main track.

Red Rifle earned $90,000 for his first win this year. The 5-year-old chestnut gelding now has six wins in 18 career starts for $564,270. He has had five different jockeys the last five starts.

Red Rifle won last year's Hawthorne Gold Cup on Nov. 29, but was winless in his previous four starts before Wednesday. This season he was third at Fair Grounds in the Mineshaft Handicap followed by a fifth in the track's New Orleans Handicap. Red Rifle got second in Aqueduct's Excelsior on April 25 and four weeks ago was ninth in Belmont Park's Belmont Gold Cup over two miles on the turf.

Red Rifle returned $6.40, $3.50 and $3.00. Florida Won paid $3.80 and $3.20, and Pender Harbour paid $2.70 to show.

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