TORONTO, ON – For the second straight time, L and N Racing’s Tone Broke swept past the favored Avie’s Flatter in deep stretch to win, this time in Saturday’s $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine. The Breeders’ Stakes is the final leg of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown.
Tossing his head as he broke from post 5 under Rafael Hernandez as the 2/1 second choice, Tone Broke eventually settled into mid-pack while Seguimi and Rising Star took turns posting fractions of :25.26, :50.59, 1:15.97, and 1:41.07.
Sidling up along the inside into third as the field made the far turn, Tone Broke had to steady because Rising Star was fading in front of him and Pay for Peace had him pinned. Still seeking running room as he straightened for home, Hernandez steered Tone Broke well outside to the middle of the track and began an arduous rally to the front.
In the shadow of the wire, Tone Broke usurped new leader Avie’s Flatter and continued charging past him before crossing the wire 1 1/2 lengths the best. The Steve Asmussen trainee completed the 1 1/2-mile event over the yielding turf course in a final time of 2:30.43.
“He played around a little bit with the head before the start,” said Hernandez, who also won the 2016 and 2017 editions. “My gate crew did a great job. He tried to straighten him up, but they opened the gate so quickly and he just came out with the head high. He gave me a hard time to relax him, but by the first furlong, he was relaxed good. It’s a good thing we have a long stretch. All you have to do is be patient. I used my patience, and as soon as I put him clear, he did the rest. He has a big heart.”
Trainer Josie Carroll’s two runners completed the trifecta when He’s a Macho Man nailed his stablemate and the 4/5 favorite Avie’s Flatter by a nose at the wire. Encierro took fourth by 3/4 of a length over Lucas n’ Lori, while behind him came the fading pair of Rising Star and Pay for Peace, while Seguimi and Flashymeister completed the order of finish.
Tone Broke’s win was his second straight after taking the Prince of Wales Stakes, leg two of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, at Fort Erie on July 23. The 3-year-old son of Broken Vow, who ran third in the Queen’s Plate Stakes (the first leg), now carries a record of 11-4-1-1 with $528,600 earned.
“It looked like it was going to be a replay of the Queen’s Plate (when he broke inwards) a little, where he didn’t want to relax early, and Raffi got him to relax and everything went smooth,” said Darren Fleming, assistant trainer to Asmussen. “We had a little traffic trouble and my heart was pumping in the turn, but luckily, Tone Broke was talented enough to overcome it.“
Tone Broke returned $6.80 to win, $3.90 to place, and $3 to show. He’s A Macho Man brought back $5.90 to place and $3.70 to show, while Avie’s Flatter paid $2.30 to show.