City Boy and jockey Jesse Campbell winning the 2019 edition of the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes last October at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)
TORONTO, October 16, 2020 – Nine starters bring their turf talents to the Nearctic Stakes (G2), a six-furlong grass test for three-year-olds and upward, Sunday at Woodbine.
The $250,000 Nearctic goes as the ninth of 11 races on a program headlined by the $600,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1T) and $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (G1T). The $100,000 Display Stakes, a seven-furlong main track event for two-year-olds, goes as race 10. First race post time is 1:10 p.m.
Multiple stakes winner Silent Poet, a five-year-old son of Silent Name (JPN), has won three of his past four races.
Bred and owned by Stronach Stables, Silent Poet kicked off his current campaign with an allowance score on June 11. The Ontario-bred took the Connaught Cup Stakes (G2T) next time out, then finished third in the King Edward Stakes (G2T) on August 15.
The Nicholas Gonzalez trainee, who has finished in the top three in 12 of his 13 past starts, heads into the Nearctic off a sharp score on September 27, a 1 ¾-length win over 6 ½ furlongs on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
“He always goes out there and gives you everything he has,” said Gonzalez, of the 2019 Play the King Stakes (G2T) winner. “Even if he’s beaten, it never seems to be by much. He’s a very versatile horse.”
And a contented one too.
“’Poet’ is such a happy horse right now… spoiled with grass and clover, mints and carrots,” shared Gonzalez. “He loves his job and that makes mine so much easier.”
Silent Poet, who has assembled a 9-4-2 record from 17 starts, faces a group of rivals that includes multiple graded stakes placed Blind Ambition, last year’s Nearctic winner City Boy, graded stakes champ Guildsman, graded stakes victor Kanthaka, and Royal North Stakes (G2) winner Lady Grace.
City Boy, bred and co-owned by the late Gustav Schickedanz, returned $50.70 for his upset win in the 2019 Nearctic. Trainer Mike Keogh notched his second Nearctic title, having taken the 1999 renewal with Clever Response.
$250,000 Nearctic Stakes (Grade 2) – Race 9
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Reconfigure – Skye Chernetz – Robert Tiller
2 – Kanthaka – Luis Contreras – Graham Motion
3 – Blind Ambition – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
4 – Guildsman – Rafael Hernandez – Brendan Walsh
5 – Silent Poet – Justin Stein – Nicholas Gonzalez
6 – Lady Grace – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
7 – Vanbrugh – Daisuke Fukumoto – Brad Cox
8 – City Boy – David Moran – Mike Keogh
9 – Olympic Runner – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse