“Good-Natured” Tunechi Set for Woodstock Stakes Test

April 26, 2024

Tunechi gets the maiden broken July 23 at Woodbine (Michael Burns)

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By Chris Lomon – Woodbine Communications

TORONTO— Six contenders, including Tunechi, will contest the $125,000 Woodstock Stakes, Sunday at Woodbine.   

The six-furlong Woodstock, for 3-year-olds, has traditionally been a key prep race leading up to The King’s Plate, set for August 17, the first leg of the storied Canadian Triple Crown series. 

Trained by Barbara Minshall for the ownership group of Hoolie Racing Stable, LLC, Legion Racing, Conover Stable and Ribble Farms LLC, Tunechi, 1-0-2 from 5 starts, will make his first start of 2024 on Sunday.

“I liked him right off the bat,” recalled Minshall. “He came from Travis Durr [training centre in South Carolina] and was purchased by the group. As soon as I saw the horse – I had seen him a couple of times over the winter – on the track, I knew he was a nice one. He’s very good-natured. He’s a colt, but he’s good-natured.”

The son of Outwork-Stasha Minasha was a model of consistency in his first year.

After a third at 4 ½ panels over the Woodbine all-weather track in his career bow last May, Tunechi was fourth, placed third, in a six-furlong race that was originally scheduled for the turf.

He broke his maiden in style courtesy of a 3 ¾-length score at 6 ½-furlongs over the E.P. Taylor turf on July 23.

“This is a nice horse, and he has good gears to him,” said Minshall, Canada’s champion trainer in 1996. “It was a very nice effort. He came home very strong and kept going right through the wire.”

Seven weeks later, the bay colt was fourth in the Summer Stakes (G1T). Tunechi closed out his campaign with a fourth in the Grey Stakes (G3) on November 4.

The Kentucky-bred, who has had a steady diet of works ahead of the Woodstock, including a four-furlong breeze in :49.00 on April 21, is coming into his seasonal debut in sharp form.

Tunechi prepares for the Woodstock (Michael Burns)

“He’s easy to train,” said Minshall, who eclipsed $1 million in purse earnings in 2023, marking the second straight year she achieved the feat. “He’s just a nice horse and we’re happy to have him. I always thought he was a turf horse, but we aren’t there yet.

“But he can handle this surface. We’ll focus on this race and then eventually, he’ll be on the turf once that gets going.”

Tunechi spent the winter months at Travis Durr in preparation for his 3-year-old campaign.

“He’s filled out and grown up a bit. He’s a big horse. You like to see them grow from the first year to the next and he has.”

Bred by Fred Hertrich III and John Fielding, Tunechi originally sold for $20,000 (U.S.) at the 2021 Keeneland Association November Breeding Stock Sale. He was purchased by the current connections for $40,000 (U.S.) at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Selected Yearling Sale.

Edwin Weekes is the groom.

The Woodstock is Race 8 on Sunday’s 10-race card. First post time is 1:10 p.m. 

Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com, bet365.com, and the Dark Horse app.

Field for the $125,000 Woodstock

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Adios Now – Sahin Civaci – Bill Tharrenos

2 – Midnight Mascot – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse

3 – Countryboysurvive – Eswan Flores – Nick Gonzalez

4 – Tunechi – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Barbara Minshall

5 – Break the Spell – Skye Chernetz – David Cotey

6 – Naptown – Rafael Hernandez – Graham Motion

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