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Woodbridge Opens Up 7-Year-Old Campaign In Niagara
Credit: Michael Burns Photo

Woodbridge Opens Up 7-Year-Old Campaign In Niagara

TORONTO, ON – Nine starters, including veteran campaigner Woodbridge, will travel ‘about’ 1 1/8 miles over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in Sunday’s $100,000 Niagara Stakes at Woodbine. 

The running of the Niagara, for 4-year-olds & upwards, includes Mike Keogh trainee Woodbridge, a gelded son of Langfuhr bred by the late Gus Schickedanz. 

The bay, owned by The Estate of Gus Schickedanz and Donald Howard, will be making his first appearance since contesting a pair of graded stakes events in 2020, both of them at Woodbine. 

Woodbridge finished fifth – 2 lengths behind Count Again – in the Singspiel (G3) in September and followed it up with another fifth, this time in the Northern Dancer Turf (G1) in mid-October.  

“It’s really the only spot I’ve got to run because he’s not eligible for ‘2 other than’ yet,” noted Keogh. “He won last year in late August, so I don’t want to run him for a tag. So, this is the spot to start. The distance is okay, but I think further down the road he’s better going a mile and 1/4, and a mile and 1/2, maybe. He ran some big races going long last year, in the Singspiel and Northern Dancer.”  

Prior to those engagements, the Ontario-bred lit up the toteboard on August 29 in a 1 1/4-mile turf race at the Toronto oval. 

Sent off at 50/1, Woodbridge took the lead 1/8 of a mile from home and dug in gamely to secure a neck score in a time of 2:02.65 over firm going. 

Keogh, inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame last April, would relish a duplicate of that performance. 

“That would be great, wouldn’t it?” said Keogh. “He runs well fresh, and I’ve had some stiff works into him, a few seven-eighths and a mile.”  

Woodbridge started his career with 4 straight top-3 placings, including a maiden-breaking score in his fourth start on October 2, 2016. 

The multiple stakes placed gelding has compiled a record of 3-2-7 from 28 career starts. 

“He’s lovely to be around. He’s a happy, little horse. When you’re setting his feed, he hollers like crazy, which I love to hear horses do. They don’t all do that, but he does.” 

Also contesting the Niagara is 6-year-old Admiralty Pier

Owned by Hoolie Racing Stable and Bruce Lunsford, the graded stakes-winning son of English Channel heads into Sunday’s added-money affair off a winning effort at Woodbine on July 4. 

Trained by Barb Minshall, the chestnut gelding, bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, has assembled a 6-4-3 mark from 26 lifetime starts. 

“He’s doing great and he’s a very solid horse,” noted Minshall. “I expect him to run very well. He’s all class. He’s a 2-year-old Sovereign [Award] champion still going at 6. That in itself says a lot.” 

Mnemba Island, Current, Belichick, March to the Arch, Sir Sahib, Primo Tough, and Theregoesjojo complete the entries for the Niagara, race 7 on Sunday’s 11-race card. First post time is 1:10 PM.

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