Plus Ultra made all the running under jockey Tyrone Nelson to win the $30,000 Chantilly Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Friday night at the Downs and made sure there were no winners in the Pick-4 when she paid $26.90 to win.
Opening a short lead early, Plus Ultra gradually increased her comfort level to a length and maintained that margin while setting fast fractions of 23 and 46 flat before opening up into the stretch and drawing away as she neared the wire. The quick filly trained by Blair Miller for owner John Ganas got the five furlongs in 59.40 and stopped the timer in 1:12.60 for the six furlongs over a fast strip.
At the wire Plus Ultra was 3 ¼-lengths clear of second-place finisher Heavenly Lioness, who was three-quarters of a length in front of second choice She’s Copacetic in third. Favoured Northlands Park shipper and fourth-place finisher My Daddy’s Girl ($1.40) paid the price for chasing the winner through fast fractions, as did most of the others in the Chantilly. Heavenly Lioness rated behind the speed and rallied to split the tiring chasers late.
The win boosted Plus Ultra’s earnings to $29,460 from a record of 2-0-1 in eight starts and gave the former maiden claimer from Turf Paradise her first stakes win after only three local starts. The dark bay filly by Popular-Unravel by Unbridled paid a predictable $26.90 to win based on the fact that she was one of many speed types in the Chantilly, but she was quick enough out of the blocks to avoid a duel and left everyone else running for second money.
Plus Ultra also left Pick-4 players wanting, as no one had a winning ticket that included winners Miss Fancy O’Nite (paid $12.20) in the fourth race, She’s Regal ($7.60) in the fifth, Barramoon ($4.60) in the sixth and Plus Ultra ($26.90) in the seventh. That means there will be a carryover Pick-4 pool of $4,364 going into Saturday’s special afternoon card of racing. The last time there was a carryover in the 15% Pick-4 the pool grew to almost $20,000. That kind of cash is definitely worth coming out for on Saturday. And remember, there’s a special afternoon post time of 1 p.m. this Saturday.
Besides winning the Chantilly Stakes, trainer Blair Miller scored with heavy favorites Applicant in the first race and Barramoon in the sixth race to increase his lead in the trainer standings to 17-12 over Chad Torevell, who won the fifth race with She’s Regal. Jockey Rohan Singh also won three races on the card, two of them for Miller and one for Torevell, to close the gap on leading rider Paul Nolan. The score is now 28-26 in favor of Nolan.
Downs CEO Darren Dunn gave a touching tribute to legendary trainer A.E. “Bert” Blake before the first race on Friday, asking for and receiving a moment of silence for the master horseman who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92. The flags were also lowered to half-mast for the evening in honor of the best “good horse” trainer in Assiniboia Downs’ history.
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2012