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TORONTO, ON – Just 1 start after setting a new track record over the same course and distance to break her maiden, Ivan Dalos’ Court Return doubled up with another strong performance to win Saturday’s $100,000 Eternal Search Stakes at Woodbine.
Court Return broke from the rail as the 4/1 third choice under Daisuke Fukumoto and allowed everyone to surpass her heading into the clubhouse turn.
Desdemona led uncontested through early fractions of :24.65 and :49.73 before Gun Society made a mid-backstretch move and challenged the pacesetter heading into the far turn.
Poking her head in front at the 1/4 pole, Gun Society straightened for home on the lead, but Court Return had circled the pack in the far turn and was flying furiously toward the front.
Ranging up under a mild drive, Court Vision cruised past Gun Society inside the 1/16 pole before winning clear by 1 1/4 lengths. The Josie Carroll trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile firm inner turf route in a final time of 1:43.66.
“Today was my first time with her,” said Fukumoto, who like Court Vision won his first career stakes. “In the backstretch, I thought it was a slow pace, so I just asked her a little bit and she just kept going.”
Though caught late, Gun Society was 4 1/4 lengths ahead of Desdemona, who held third by a 1/2-length over Royal Wedding. Completing the order of finish came Silent Tango and Red Cabernet.
The 8/5 favorite Bramble Queen fell midway through the far turn while attempting a four-wide rally from the rear, but Woodbine officials confirmed that both she and jockey Luis Contreras walked off under their own power.
Mere moments before Bramble Queen fell, March of Dreams steadied in the far turn along the rail and was pulled up, but she also walked off under her own power.
Piper’s Legacy was scratched.
Court Return’s win improved her overall record to 10-2-3-0 with $116,342 earned for Dalos, who also bred her under his Tall Oaks Farm operation. The 4-year-old Court Vision filly is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 turf winners Channel Maker and Johnny Bear.
“It appears to be a family that develops late,” Carroll said. “Mr. Dalos realizes that, and we’ve said that all along that we just have to be patient and this filly will come.”
Court Return brought back $10.80 to win, $7.40 to place, and $5.10 to show. Gun Society returned $8.50 to place and $6.30 to show, while Desdemona paid $11.20 to show.
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