Never underestimate the power of good horsemanship, especially on racing’s biggest days.
Just a few weeks ago trainer Shelley Brown had only a few wins to show for her efforts this year. The rumor mill in the backstretch said that she had taken on too many horses too soon in her fledgling career as a trainer. Those that spread the rumors are now hiding under the straw somewhere waiting for the yellow bus with the big black letters to come and pick them up.
Shelley Brown not only won three races on Canada Day at the Downs in front of a packed crowd, she unleashed a tiger in the form of Golden Stripe for K 5 Stables in the $30,000 CANSTAR Canada Day Stakes.
Sent off as the second choice in the six-horse field behind Texas shipper Ruby’s Big Band, Golden Stripe annihilated her field under five-time Jamaican jockey champion Trevor Simpson with the most dominating performance of the year at the Downs. Simpson sent Golden Stripe to the front when the gate opened and demoralized her competition early with quick fractions of 23.40 and 47.80.
Normally, a horse would come back to the field after setting fast early fractions going a mile. Instead, Golden Stripe ran away from the field. The big chestnut 6-year-old was seven lengths in front after six furlongs in 1:12.40 and continued to power away. At the top of the stretch she was 12 lengths in front. She then coasted home to win by 13 ¾-lengths while be geared down by Simpson. The final time for the mile was 1:39.40 over the fast strip.
“I didn’t expect to win by that much,” said Simpson, who picked up the mount when Rohan Singh chose to ride even-money favourite Ruby’s Big Band, who finished a tired fourth after trying to stay close to the winner early.
At the three-eighths pole Simpson spoke to his mount, “Let’s go Mommy. Let’s have some fun.” And off they went. Simpson had worked Golden Stripe only once in the morning prior to the Canada Day. These two obviously get along.
Lucky Lady Go outworked the remaining five entrants to take second place at 17-1, finishing a length in front of Honorable Lady in third. It was further two lengths back to Ruby’s Big Band.
A Manitoba-bred daughter of El Corredor-Terra Cotta by Rare Brick, Golden Stripe improved her career record to 8-6-2 from 24 starts for earnings of $234,825. She paid $8.40 to win and topped numerous lucrative exotic payoffs that included a $195.80 Quinella, a $178.00 Exactor, a $641.50 Triactor and a $1,230.70 Superfecta.
“I told my wife to put some money on her,” smiled K 5 Stables owner Phil Kives.
Shelley Brown also won the third race with Northern Gold ($6.40) for K 5 Stables and the final race of the day with Hot Off the Bench ($10.60) for owner Rosemarie Pollock. The hat trick vaulted the Saskatchewan-born horsewoman into fourth place in the trainer standings with a record of 14-21-13 from 93 starts, which is much more in line with her actual talent.
Simpson didn't expect to win the Canada Day so easily. Nor did Brown and Kives. Despite the fact that Brown's horses are only just starting to round into form, they thought their big mare might have lost a step as a 6-year-old after finishing fourth and second in her previous two starts this year.
All good things...
Watch the replay of the Canada Day Stakes, July 1, Race 8
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7 p.m. Friday, July 6, 2012