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TORONTO, ON – Stronach Stables homebred Silent Poet made it 2 straight to remain perfect in 2020 while winning Saturday’s $175,000 Connaught Cup Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.
Silent Poet broke from the rail under Justin Stein as the 7/5 favorite and dueled on the front end inside of Admiralty Pier through opening fractions of :23.07 and :45.70.
The two raced heads apart nearly the length of the race, with Silent Poet just inching ahead inside the 1/16 pole before crossing a 1/2-length clear at the wire.
The Nick Gonzalez trainee completed the 7-furlong firm turf sprint in a final time of 1:23.62.
“With a speedy horse like (Silent Poet) and another speed horse on the outside – we got the 1 hole – you’re committed to a very forward position,” Stein said. “It depends on how bad the other horses wanted it, but I talked to Nick and he told me the horse was really easy to ride, according to Gary Boulanger, and that gave me the confidence I needed. I saw the horse run a bunch of times and he’s a pro.”
Admiralty Pier ran seemingly too good to lose and was 4 3/4 lengths ahead of Blind Ambition, who necked out Olympic Runner for third. City Boy and Gray’s Fable completed the order of finish.
Regally Irish and White Flag were scratched.
Silent Poet’s win was his third at the stakes level and his first since setting a new course record in last August’s Play the King Stakes (G2). The Ontario-bred 5-year-old Silent Name gelding improved his record to 15-8-4-1 with $459,744 earned.
“I was really excited to ride him,” said Stein, who picked up the mount with regular rider Boulanger on the sidelines. “He definitely showed me his stuff. When I rode against him (last month), I was on Cooler Mike, and we rolled right up to him like we were going to drive on by, and Silent Poet looked at us and laughed, kind of like what he did today.”
Silent Poet returned $4.90 to win, $3.10 to place, and $2.40 to show. Admiralty Pier brought back $5.70 to place and $3.50 to show, while Blind Ambition paid $3.20 to show.
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