TORONTO, September 19, 2020 – Count Again, making his stakes debut, rallied strongly at odds of 9-1 to take down Saturday’s Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths under jockey Luis Contreras.
The Grade 3, $143,900 Singspiel, shortened this year from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/4 miles on the E.P. Taylor turf course, went with a field of nine threes-year-olds and upward.
The stakes upset was the second in as many weeks for owner/breeder Sam-Son Farm and trainer Gail Cox, who teamed up to win last Saturday’s Grade 2 Canadian with Rideforthecause.
“I was in the perfect position the whole way,” said Contreras, who was riding his seventh stakes winner of the meeting.
“Just before the turn, a horse came on the outside and made a little move and gave him a bit of trouble but my horse was nice and relaxed. I just held him a little bit longer…when I turned for home I was loaded with so much horse.”
Tiz A Slam, the defending champion in the Singspiel and looking to give trainer Roger Attfield a ninth win in the 15th edition of the race, assumed his preferred position on the front end and was rolling along through fractions of :25.82, :49.91, and 1:13.65.
Tiz A Slam still led through a mile in 1:37.20 but the backfield had been on the move around the final turn and he was facing a strong challenge from Nakamura with Count Again closing best of all on the outside.
Count Again, racing a bit erratically, was never seriously threatened in the final furlong while Sir Sahib finished well to take second by a neck. Say the Word, representing the same connections as the winner, came from last place to end third, a half-length before fourth-place Nakamura.
Woodbridge, Standard Deviation, Tiz a Slam, Skywire and Jungle Fighter completed the order of finish.
Standard Deviation, at 3.65-1, was a fractional favorite over Tiz a Slam, who went off at the same odds.
Nakamura, who like Standard Deviation was invading from Fair Hill, Maryland for trainer Graham Motion, was next in line at 3.80-1 on an indecisive board.
The final time on a firm course was 2:00.67.
A stewards inquiry into the order of finish, involving Sir Sahib and Count Again, was dismissed following a brief review by the stewards.
Admiralty Pier, entered in both the Singspiel and Woodbine Mile, opted for the shorter race later on Saturday’s program.
Count Again, a five-year-old gelding by Awesome Again out of Count to Three, came into the Singspiel off a second-place finish over the Singspiel distance and surface which was his longest test to date.
“Last time he ran with first-time blinkers on, so I just got beat really bad at the end, by a (neck),” said Contreras. “Today they cut the blinkers back and I think that made a lot of difference.”
The Singspiel marked Count Again’s third career win from just six outings and the $90,000 payday was more than he had earned in his previous outings.
For Sam-Son, the Singspiel winner was the fourth after victories by Aldous Snow in 2014, 2015 and 2017 for now-retired trainer Malcolm Pierce.
Count Again returned $21.20, $10.20 and $7 and fronted an 8-2 exacta with Sir Sahib ($13.20, $7.90) of $203.30.
Say the Word ($5.90) completed an 8-2-1 trifecta of $1,295.60 and the 8-2-1-9 superfecta with Nakuma fourth was worth $2,741.05 for $1.