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TORONTO, ON – The $125,000 Toronto Cup and the $100,000 Belle Mahone share the stage on Sunday’s 11-race card at Woodbine.
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Nine 3-year-olds – a group that includes Artie’s Storm, Gretzky the Great, and Riptide Rock – will travel 1 mile on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in the Toronto Cup.
Owned and trained by Paul Buttigieg, Artie’s Storm will chase his first added-money score in his third stakes appearance.
A son of We Miss Artie-Tiz Stormy Now, Artie’s Storm heads into the Toronto Cup off a third-place effort in the Greenwood Stakes, just a head back of winner Gretzky the Great.
Artie’s Storm rallied stoutly in the Greenwood, contested at 7 furlongs over the E.P. Taylor on August 14.
David Moran, who has been aboard for all 5 of the dark bay’s starts, once again gets the call.
“He’s a lovely horse,” said the multiple stakes-winning jockey. “He loves the turf, but I don’t think the surface matters at all with him. He settles lovely in every race and he always tries. The distance for this race won’t be an issue for him because he’s very relaxed in the race and he loves the turf. He’s just a nice horse.”
Moran handed out top marks to the gelding for the determined Greenwood showing.
“He just got beat. He just missed second by a head bob, where he was in front just before and just after the wire. It was hard luck not to be second to Gretzky the Great last time.”
Artie’s Storm debuted last October at the Toronto oval, rallying to finish third, a neck away from taking top spot in the 5 1/2-furlong Tapeta race.
Bred by Sunrise Farm, Artie’s Storm broke his maiden next time out in his 3-year-old debut in a main track race over 7 panels on the main track.
After a runner-up result in the Queenston Stakes, he was back in the winner’s circle, recording a 1/2-length score in a 1 1/16-mile turf race on July 24.
“When I came back after that first race, I said, ‘Paul, you’ve got a really nice horse here,’” recalled Moran. “I told my agent all winter not to miss that horse. He’s just improved every race. He’s training really well coming into this race. He’s a lovely horse to be around and has a great attitude.”
Gretzky The Great Game In Greenwood Thriller
Multiple stakes winner and Canada’s champion 2-year-old male Gretzky the Great goes after his fifth career win in his ninth start. Bred by Anderson Farms Ontario, the son of Nyquist is trained by Mark Casse for Gary Barber and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
Riptide Rock, who finished a hard-charging second to Safe Conduct in the Queen’s Plate on August 22, will return to the turf for the first time since his career bow last October when he was a 2 1/2-length winner in a 6-furlong race on the E.P. Taylor. The Stronach homebred is trained by Hall of Famer Sid Attard.
Also on Sunday, seven starters will go postward in the Belle Mahone, a 1 1/16-mile main track event for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward. Trainer Mark Casse sends out the trio of Art of Almost, Crystal Glacier, and Skygaze.
The Toronto Cup is scheduled as the eighth race on Sunday’s 1:10 PM program. The Belle Mahone is slated as race 9.
$125,000 TORONTO CUP STAKES
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Riptide Rock – Justin Stein – Sid Attard
2 – Artie’s Storm – David Moran – Paul Buttigieg
3 – War Bomber – Shaun Bridgmohan – Norm McKnight
4 – Derzkii – Jason Hoyte – Carlos Grant
5 – My Sea Cottage – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
6 – Lenny K – Antonio Gallardo – Kevin Attard
7 – Azzurro – Eswan Flores – John Mattine
8 – Barnegat Light – Pablo Morales – Timothy Hamm
9 – Gretzky the Great – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
$100,000 BELLE MAHONE STAKES
1 – Crystal Glacier – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
2 – No Mo Lady – Luis Contreras – Michael Trombetta
3 – Saratoga Vision – Jeffrey Alderson – Alexander Patykewich
4 – Skygaze – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
5 – Art of Almost – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
6 – Fate Factor – Rafael Hernandez – Chris Block
7 – Antigone – Daisuke Fukumoto – Zeljko Krcmar
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