A pair of main track stakes, the Lake Ontario and Ashbridges Bay, share top billing on Friday’s eight-race card at Woodbine.
The 1 1/16-mile Tapeta events represent the finale of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series, an eight-leg stakes series open to Ontario Sired three-year-olds, contested at Woodbine and Fort Erie racetracks.
Ontario Racing and its Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP) Committee unveiled the series in March. With a total purse structure of $750,000, the Heritage Series showcases a total of four races – three opening legs and one final – for both three-year-old colts and three-year-old fillies who are sustained to the Ontario Sires Stakes program.
The $100,000 Lake Ontario, carded as race seven, has attracted a field of six colts & geldings, including Secret Reserve.
Trained by Mike Mattine for owners Carlo D’Amato and Stacey Van Camp, the son of Giant Gizmo is riding a three-race win streak heading into the Lake Ontario.
After a fifth to launch his three-year-old campaign, Secret Reserve has made three straight trips to the winner’s circle, including victories in the seven-furlong main track Elgin Stakes on August 29, and most recently, a two-length score in the Lake Superior Stakes, run at seven panels over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on October 22.
“Every one of the wins was different and special,” said Mattine. “He just keeps on improving. Last year as a baby, I could tell he was a good horse, when he started breezing. He’s been very good this year. When he goes out and trains, he’s all business.”
Friday’s engagement marks the first time Secret Reserve, bred by Dr. Brian Van Arem, will test two turns.
The dark bay arrives at the Lake Ontario in good order.
“He’s in good shape,” offered Mattine. “Obviously, we’ll have to see if he can get the distance. It’s going to be his toughest race so far. There are plenty of good horses in here. This is definitely his toughest test. Hopefully, he can perform just like he has in his last three starts.”
Secret Reserve debuted last September at Woodbine, recording a 2 ½-length win at 7-1 in the five-furlong Tapeta race.
The gelding has won his past three starts by a combined 10 lengths.
“He’s a nice horse and it helps that he’s Ontario-sired because he fits that program very well. He’s got good numbers, that part we know, but we’ll have to see how he handles two turns. It’s a tougher field, too, so we’ll hope he comes up with another big effort.”
Five fillies will face-off in the $100,000 Ashbridges Bay Stakes, slated as the first race.
Multiple stakes winner Lorena, trained and co-owned by Stuart Simon, goes after her fourth career added-money title.
A five-time winner from seven starts, the daughter of Souper Speedy won the Fury Stakes in July, the Algoma Stakes in August, and the Thunder Bay Stakes on October 22.
Red Equinox, winner of the Rondeau Bay Stakes on September 14 at Fort Erie, has three victories from seven races. The daughter of Signature Red is trained by Jamie Attard.
First post time for Friday’s card is 4:45 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com
and the Dark Horse Bets
FIELD FOR THE LAKE ONTARIO
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Secret Reserve – Rafael Hernandez – Mike Mattine
2 – Artie’s Storm – David Moran – Paul Buttigieg
3 – Jelgo – Sahin Civaci – Matt Douglas
4 – Perfect Crime – Eswan Flores – Patrick Dixon
5 – Avoman – Patrick Husbands – Don MacRae
6 – Dragon’s Brew – Kazushi Kimura – Robert Tiller
FIELD FOR THE ASHBRIDGES BAY
Post – Horse – Jockey - Trainer
1 – Jolene Jolene – Justin Stein – Harold Ladouceur
2 – Jilli Marie – Steven Bahen – Katerina Vassilieva
3 – Lorena – Gary Boulanger – Stuart Simon
4 – Practical Gizmo – Jodeien Anderson – Marjorie Paterson
5 – Red Equinox – Luis Contreras – Jamie Attard
The Heritage Series Schedule:
$80,000 – Georgian Bay Stakes – July 30, 2021 – Five Furlongs (Woodbine Inner Turf Course)
Winner – Artful Ballerina
$80,000 – Rondeau Bay Stakes – September 14, 2021 – Six Furlongs (Fort Erie Main Track)
Winner – Red Equinox
$80,000 – Thunder Bay Stakes – October 22, 2021 – Seven Furlongs (Woodbine E.P. Taylor Turf Course)
Winner – Lorena
$100,000 – Ashbridges Bay Stakes – November 19, 2021 – One Mile & One Sixteenth (Woodbine Tapeta)
Three-Year-Old Colts & Geldings
$80,000 – Lake Huron Stakes – July 30, 2021 – Five Furlongs (Woodbine Inner Turf Course)
Winner – Forest Survivor
$80,000 – Lake Erie Stakes – September 14, 2021 – Six Furlongs (Fort Erie Main Track)
Winner – Red River Rebel
$80,000 – Lake Superior Stakes – October 22, 2021 – Seven Furlongs (Woodbine E.P. Taylor Turf Course)
Winner – Secret Reserve
$100,000 – Lake Ontario Stakes – November 19, 2021 – One Mile & One Sixteenth (Woodbine Tapeta)
ONTARIO SIRED HERITAGE STAKES SERIES POINTS STRUCTURE (*FOR BONUS AWARDS ONLY)
- Points are awarded to the individual horse
BREAKDOWN OF BONUSES ($70,000) FOR MOST POINTS ACCUMULATED THROUGHOUT SERIES
For Each Division
- Horses are not required to start in all four legs to be eligible.
- Point System – 10 points – 1st, 7 points – 2nd, 5 points 3rd, 3 points – 4th, 2 points for 5th, 1 point for 6th to Last. (Points will be prorated in the event of a dead heat).
- Bonus points are revocable in the event of a disqualification.
- Series bonus awards will be prorated in the event of a tie in points.
- Series bonus awards are revocable in the event of a disqualification.
PLACE - $20,000
PLACE - $10,000
PLACE - $5,000
TOTAL - $35,000
Bonus will be paid to the winning owner of record (for the top three horses that accumulate the most points throughout the series) on November 19, 2021.
(Photo of Secret Reserve winning the Lake Superior Stakes on October 22, 2021 at Woodbine courtesy Michael Burns Photography)
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