TORONTO, ON – Glen Hill Farm’s homebred Caribou Club made his Canadian debut a winning one on Saturday, stalking early before pouncing in the stretch and then holding off a game Tower of Texas late in the Grade 2, $175,000 Connaught Cup Stakes at Woodbine.
Breaking inward along the rail under Gary Boulanger, Caribou Club was content to sit just behind early leaders Dimension (the 2016 edition victor) and Yorkton through opening splits of :23.42 and :45.45 for the opening 1/2-mile. The field of eight clumped up midway through the far turn, then spread eight-wide at the top of the stretch for the run home. Caribou Club stuck his nose in front and began kicking away, but Tower of Texas, having trailed for much of the race, soon emerged with a threatening late along the far outside. Digging in along the rail, Caribou Club was able to hold off the defending champion by 1 1/2 lengths at the wire in a final time of 1:20.22 for the 7-furlong turf sprint.
“I just had to help him out of the gate the first 20 yards (because he’s got that extension blinker), and once I got in position, I was just sitting there, waiting for a spot,” Boulanger said. “He had me in great position, and when I asked him, he exploded.”
The 2-1 co-favorite Conquest Panthera wasn’t able to launch a strong enough kick after saving ground near the rear and had to settle for third, just a head behind Tower of Texas. Yorkton finished fourth after fading in the stretch, while the other 2-1 co-favorite, Forge, never fired after racing alongside the winner for much of the race and settled for fifth. Bondurant, Camelot Kitten, and Dimension completed the order of finish.
Caribou Club’s win was his first career graded score and third overall in a stakes event. The 4-year-old gelded son of City Zip improved his record to 12-5-2-3 with earnings of $305,738.
Caribou Club returned $18 to win, $8.20 to place, and $4.90 to show. Tower of Texas brought back $4.40 to place and $2.80 to show, while Conquest Panthera paid $2.50 to show.