Any doubts as to whether Northern Contract was the real deal were ripped up on Wednesday night at Assiniboia Downs when he romped away in the stretch to win the $30,000 Golden Boy Stakes by seven lengths.
Handled confidently be leading rider by Adolfo Morales, Northern Contract stalked a three-horse duel while widest through a quarter in 22.80, moved 4-wide into a strong pace on the turn to take a head lead after a half-mile in 46.00, and then widened on his five rivals.
The final time for the six furlongs over a fast track under intermittent rain was a solid 1:12 flat.
Janet Sayler's A Hi Five rallied late under Paul Nolan to take second money by a head over T G Stable's Megatron Ruler. The latter ran a big race under Jalon Samuel, dueling between horses and putting away his pace rivals just as the winner was taking over. He couldn't stay with Northern Contract but he made a valiant effort to save the place before tiring just before the wire in his first start of the year for trainer Blair Miller. Improvement expected on this one.
Owned by the partnership of Barry Arnason and trainer Don Schnell, Northern Contract was winning the first stakes of his career in the Golden Boy. The 3-year-old chestnut gelding by Northern Afleet-Lily's Affair by Colonial Affair has now won three of his five starts and compiled earnings of $42,241.
Northern Contract could be a Manitoba Derby candidate based on his Golden Boy performance and his pedigree. He gets a high level of class from Nureyev and Mr. Prospector through his graded stakes-winning sire Northern Affair, and inherits both stamina and class from his dam sire Colonial Affair, who won the memorable 1993 Belmont Stakes with Julie Krone up, helping her to become the first female jockey ever to win the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Interestingly, Julie Krone was also the first female jockey ever to win the Manitoba Derby in 1988, aboard No Malice.
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7 p.m. Friday, June 6, 2014