TORONTO, ON – Second in this event a year ago, Alpine Stable’s Ikerrin Road rallied in the stretch drive before running off convincingly to win Saturday’s Grade 2, $175,000 Kennedy Road Stakes at Woodbine.
Breaking from the rail under Ademar Santos at 6-1 odds, Ikerrin Road settled close behind early leader and 3/5 favorite Yorkton through opening fractions of :22.63 and :44.94. Still saving ground along the inside, Ikerrin Road found a hole between Yorkton and the rail as the field exited the far turn. Squeezing through with a burst, Ikerrin Road strode steadily away from the field in the stretch and held an unwavering 1-length advantage through to the wire in a final time of 1:08.42 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast all weather course.
“He didn’t break sharp, but the plan was to kind of sit off a little bit. But nobody wanted to go so everybody sat back so I just decided to go a little closer with him and get position,” said Santos. “It was a little tight down the bend, but I had to shoot for the hole because if I was to stop and go out, I’d never win. He’s just a classy horse.”
Holding Gold rallied valiantly along the inside in an attempt to chase down the eventual winner, but he failed to make up enough ground and settled for second by a head over Call Me Wally. Yorkton gave way in the stretch and crossed in fourth over Brass Compass, who headed Singandcryindubai for fifth. Boreal Spirit, Hemp Hemp Hurray, and Vici completed the order of finish.
Ikerrin Road’s win was his second straight following an allowance score here on November 7. The 5-year-old gelded Irish-bred son of Iffraaj improved his career record to 30-11-3-3 with earnings of $419,173.
“Last year we thought when he finished second to Pink Lloyd, he’s going to come back next year, but it doesn’t work that way,” said Armata, who claimed Ikerrin Road for $32,000 back on May 13, 2017. “The horse is lucky to be here. It’s coming true. We gave him lots of time and there he is.”
Ikerrin Road returned $15.70 to win, $7.90 to place, and $4.70 to show. Holding Gold brought back $7.40 to place and $5.60 to show, while Call Me Wally paid $9 to show.