TORONTO, ON – Sam-Son Farm homebred Count Again succeeded in his stakes debut, winning Saturday’s $125,000 Singspiel (G3) at Woodbine.
Sent from post 8 under Luis Contreras at 9/1 odds, Counta Again settled into a mid-pack stalking position as the field entered the clubhouse turn.
Defending race champion Tiz a Slam struck out to an uncontested early lead and posted fractions of :25.82, :49.91, and 1:13.65.
Waiting until after straightening for home to make his move, Count Again swept to the lead midway home.
Though he drifted a bit in the stretch, the Gail Cox trainee held on to win by 1 1/4 lengths while completing the 1 1/4-mile firm outer turf route in 2:00.67.
“I was in the perfect position the whole way,” Contreras said. “Just before the turn, a horse came on the outside and made a little move and gave him a bit of trouble, but my horse was nice and relaxed. I just held him a little bit longer. When I turned for home, I was loaded with so much horse.”
The stewards conducted an inquiry before determining that the winner’s drifting did not cost the runner-up Sir Sahib a chance at a better placing. Count Again’s fellow Sam-Son Farm and Gail Cox representative Say the Word was a neck behind in third.
Nakamura, Woodbridge, Standard Deviation, Tiz a Slam, Skywire, and Jungle Fighter compleed the order of finish.
Admiralty Pier scratched, with his connections opting to compete in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) later in the card.
Count Again’s victory was his first at Woodbine in his third local start and improved his overall record to 6-3-1-2 with $137,517 earned. The Ontario-bred 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding did not debut until finishing third at Ellis Park last August, but he has performed consistently well ever since.
“Last time, he ran with first-time blinkers on, so I just got beat really bad at the end, by a (neck),” Contreras said. “Today, they cut the blinkers back and I think that made a lot of difference.”
Count Again returned $21.10 to win, $10.20 to place, and $7 to show. Sir Sahib brought back $13.20 to place and $7.90 to show, while Say the Word $5.90 to show.