Sam-Son Farm’s well-bred Speightsong, with Patrick Husbands aboard, made every pole a winning one, taking the featured $150,000, seven furlong Queenston Stakes for Canadian-bred three-year-olds, Saturday at Woodbine.
Sent postward a prohibitive 3-5 choice in the six-horse field, Speightsong, a homebred product of Speightstown-Song of the Lark, clicked off fractions of 23.21 and 45.89.
Turning for home, the leader was briefly challenged by The Imposter, but pulled away to win by two and one-half lengths in 1:22.37.
Previously-unbeaten The Imposter ran well in his seasonal debut, finishing a solid second, while Eighty Nine Red came on for third, three lengths further back.
For Speightsong, it was his second consecutive win, after scoring here in a seven furlong optional claimer on April 27. The bay colt had been winter-raced by trainer Malcolm Pierce, breaking his maiden at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans in December, before shipping to Oaklawn Park for a fifth-place finish in a turf stake in his 2014 debut in late March.
Although a half-brother to Up With the Birds, Canada’s top three-year-old last year, and second place finisher as the favourite in the Queen’s Plate, Pierce has his doubts that Speightsong can give Sam-Son a sixth Plate win.
“I always thought this was a good little horse,” said Pierce. “He just needed some lessons to learn. He was a two-year-old who always had some mucous problems, nothing serious but he always had excuses, I think, in his first three races. But he’s finally showing what we thought of him.
“I think he has distance limitations. I don’t think he’ll get the mile and a quarter (Plate distance) but we’ll figure it out over the next couple of months.”
“He’s a very relaxing horse,” said Husbands. “The last time I rode him I was down on the inside. Today (from post six), he left sharp, I realized nobody wanted the lead so I let him do what he wanted to do. He won pretty easy.”
The Queenston is considered a prep on the road to Canada’s most famous horse race, the $1 million Queen’s Plate, to be run this year on Sunday, July 6. Not Bourbon was the last horse to win both races in 2008 and before him, Woodcarver pulled off the elusive double in 1999.
Trainer Bob Tiller, who had two horses, Tulio’s Brew and The Imposter, in today’s feature, scratched his third entrant, the stakes-winning Spadina Road, in the morning.
As the chalk, Speightsong paid a paltry $3.20, $2.70 and $2.10, combining with The Imposter ($6.50, $3) for a $17.70 (7-3) exactor. A 7-3-5 (Eighty Nine Red, $2.70) triactor was worth $54.00.