Sunday, September 1, 2019
TORONTO, September 1, 2019 – Powell, a three-year-old son of Munnings, continued to show his penchant for the Toronto oval Tapeta in taking Sunday’s $100,000 Ontario Jockey Club Stakes at Woodbine.
Ridden by leading jockey Rafael Hernandez, Powell, after getting away seventh of eight starters, was third to pacesetter Pemaquid Pete after an opening quarter-mile timed in :22.57. The duo was a head in front through a half-mile in :45.04, and a half-length on top at the stretch call.
Powell and Hernandez needed to rebuff the challenge of a stubborn Big Drink of Water to his inside, and also keep tabs on even-money choice Olympic Runner, who was putting in his patented late run down the lane.
At the wire, Powell bested Big Drink of Water by half-length, while Olympic Runner edged out Pemaquid Pete by a head for the show award.
The final time for six furlongs was 1:09.23.
It was the second win from three starts at Woodbine for the Michael Stidham trainee, who followed up a winning performance at Woodbine on April 21 with a second-place effort in the Woodstock Stakes just six days later.
“I just tried getting a good break, and I know a couple of horses have some speed,” said Hernandez. “He can be able to relax a little bit. He can do anything. He loves the synthetic – two wins and one second.”
Hernandez’s plan to get the jump on the competition paid off with Powell’s second-straight score and first added-money title.
“I know he (Olympic Runner) was going to come flying, so I made sure I got the jump early. But my horse kicked in right away and he kept going down the lane. I still had a lot in the tank.”
Owned by DARRS Inc., and bred by Mike Abraham, the chestnut colt now sports a record of 3-3-2 from nine starts. Powell came into the Ontario Jockey Club off a win on July 30 at Presque Isle Downs.
Powell launched his career with a pair of seconds, at Laurel Park, and then Kentucky Downs, the only starts of his two-year-old campaign. After a third at Fair Grounds to launch his three-year-old season, the Kentucky-bred broke his maiden in his first Woodbine start.
Powell returned $11.60, $5.60 and $3 and combined with Big Drink of Water ($5, $3) for a 1-4 exactor of $59.70. Olympic Runner ($2.10) completed a triactor worth $143.90. A $1 1-4-8-6 superfecta came back $396.85.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine on Holiday Monday afternoon. The first of 10 races goes to post at 1:05 p.m.
Chris Lomon for Woodbine Communications
VIDEO REPLAY (ONTARIO JOCKEY CLUB): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9KU5-CMbto