Twin City breaks his maiden at fourth asking Oct. 13, 2022 (Michael Burns)
By Chris Lomon – Woodbine Communications
TORONTO— Twin City, trained and co-owned by Stuart Simon, kicks off his sophomore campaign in Sunday’s $100,000 King Corrie, at Woodbine.
A son of Klimt-Minnie Apple Is, Twin City brings a record of one win and four seconds into the seven-furlong Tapeta event for 3-year-olds, a race that has attracted other King’s Plate hopefuls.
Bred in Ontario by Frank Di Giulio Jr., the bay has shown a penchant for a powerful turn of foot down the lane, narrowly missing a trip to the winner’s circle in three of those four runner-up efforts, losing the photo on two occasions by a neck and another by a head.
Twin City completed his rookie season with a valiant effort, this time in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity Stakes in November, where he navigated his way through traffic down the lane to finish a neck back of Velocitor (also in the King Corrie).
“Overall, you can’t not be happy,” said Simon, who co-owns along with Brent, Russell and Roy McLellan. “He’s shown up every time and he’s run well going from 5 ½ furlongs to a mile and an eighth. How much can I complain? Yes, it would have been nice to win a couple of races that he should have or could have won with a break or two, but that’s the way it goes. Hopefully, this year he can get a couple of breaks that go his way.”
The gelding’s win came in a maiden special weight event at 1 1/16 miles over the Woodbine Tapeta on October 13, in his race prior to the Coronation Futurity. He tracked the pace before seizing the lead and then held on to prevail by a neck in 1:45.50.
Twin City, who finished second in his debut, a 5 ½-panel sprint on the Toronto oval main track on July 17, rallied from well back in the 6 ½-furlong Simcoe Stakes just over five weeks later to finish a neck behind Gran Spirited. One race later, on September 18, in a 1 mile and 70-yard race on the Tapeta, he posted his third consecutive runner-up finish, a head behind the winner.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked in whatever circumstance he’s been in. He’s got such a great attitude and a good mind, so you can really do whatever you want with him. He’s awfully big, and sometimes as a 2-year-old they can be quite clumsy like a 16-year-old kid who’s trying to be quick. He went through that phase around the Simcoe Stakes last year, where he got away awkwardly, was far back and then got it together late in the race. Overall, he’s been very athletic and very sound. He’s still that way.”
Simon is reining in any King’s Plate thoughts, at least for now.
“It’s kind of one step at a time. Is he going to be better at two turns? Yes. Hopefully, this is a stepping point to going down the road and he doesn’t stub his toe and everything goes right.”
Other starters include the Kevin Attard-trained duo of Dream Jereem and Velocitor.
A bay son of Astern (AUS)-Lexi Tap, Dream Jereem broke his maiden in his first start last October before finishing seventh in the Coronation Futurity.
“It was a really nice effort first time out,” said Attard. “We were very pleased with how he raced that day. The Coronation Futurity wasn’t the result we hoped for, but with young horses, you hope they get something out of each start, things they can build on going forward.”
Bred in Ontario by Phoenix Rising Farms, the bay colt is owned by Derek Chin.
Velocitor, bred and owned by Al and Bill Ulwelling, has compiled a 3-1-1 record and $224,190 in purse earnings from five starts.
The Ontario-bred son of Mor Spirit-Polar Plunge was a finalist for the champion 2-year-old male Sovereign Award in 2022.
His victories last year included a gutsy curtain-closing score in the Coronation Futurity on November 6.
“He did everything we asked of him and showed a lot of heart throughout the year. His performance in the Coronation Futurity was very impressive. He dug deep at the end when they were coming for him. Like Dream Jereem, he had a good winter and we’re excited to get them going this year.”
Attard would be thrilled to see both contest the King’s Plate on August 20, but understands what it will take to reach that goal.
“Of course, you think about running in the King’s Plate, but a lot has to happen before you reach that point. The key at this time is to meticulously prepare them the best you can, to build towards that goal, but to always do right by the horse. It sounds cliche, but taking things each race at a time is the best game plan.”
The King Corrie is race seven on the nine-race card, with a first post of 1:10 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action through HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
FIELD FOR THE KING CORRIE
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Dream Jereem – Patrick Husbands – Kevin Attard
2 – Classic Dancer – Declan Carroll – Mark Casse
3 – Keen Flatter – Sahin Civaci – Josie Carroll
4 – One for Chap – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
5 – Wico (IRE) – Kazushi Kimura – Wesley Ward
6 – Stayhonor Goodside – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
7 – Velocitor – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
8 – Twin City – Gary Boulanger – Stuart Simon