TORONTO, ON – Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Stephen edged ahead of Tio Magico late to win Sunday’s $250,000 Coronation Futurity for Canadian-foaled 2-year-olds at Woodbine.
Breaking from the far outside post under Justin Stein as the 2/1 second choice, Stephen dropped back and saved ground ahead of only British Royalty heading into the clubhouse turn.
Tio Magico went to the lead ahead of the 8/5 Master Spy, with a four-wide wall behind them consisting of One Flint, Giant Waters, Threefiftyseven, and Flex.
After the front-runners posted opening fractions of :24.87, :49.20, and 1:13.15, the field began to advance upon them, with Giant Waters and Threefiftyseven taking first run.
Tio Magico re-engaged when headed at the top of the stretch and pulled away from his initial chasers, but Stephen was coming with a rally and took the lead at the 1/8 pole.
Though Tio Magico fought gamely along the inside, Stein confidently handled the Kevin Attard trainee in the late stages to win the 1 1/8-mile fast synthetic route by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:52.46.
“He broke a little bit funny, but we recovered quick and I was happy with the trip we were getting and he just ran a good race,” Stein said. “I had to make sure that he knew what was going on. I had to make him run a little more. He put his mind to the task when he got some daylight and took aim at the horse in front of him, he ran by him professionally.”
Giant Waters saved third by 3/4 of a length over Master Spy. British Royalty, One Flint, Threefiftyseven, and Flex completed the order of finish.
Stephen’s win was the first of his career, having finished eighth on debut in the Simcoe Stakes before finishing second by a 1/2-length behind Tio Magico in a 1 1/16-mile local event. The Constitution colt, purchased for $170,000 this past April, has now earned $129,964.
“Obviously, in the second race, I thought he ran great,” Attard said. “He showed a tremendous turn of foot, was coming to the winner and just ran out of real estate. He’s trained well in the interim and he was coming into this race in great shape, so we were pretty high on our chances.”
Stephen returned $6.30 to win, $3.50 to place, and $3 to show. Tio Magico brought back $5.90 to place and $4.50 to show, while Giant Waters paid $7.80 to show.