Kentucky invader WOLFIE’S DYNAGHOST won his first graded stakes race of his career with a 4 1/2 length romp in the Autumn Stakes (G2) on the speed-favouring Woodbine Tapeta on November 5.
Continuing a huge weekend for his sire Ghostzapper, Wolfie’s Dynaghost was supplemented to the Autumn following a close third-place finish in the Durham Cup (G3) behind Arties Storm on Oct. 7.
Trained by Jonathan Thomas for owner and breeder Woodslane Farm in Kentucky and ridden by Kazushi Kimura, Wolfies Dynaghost was 7-to-2 in the six-horse field with two-time graded stakes winner Tyson the big favourite at 3-to-5.
Wolfie’s Dynaghost was a half-length clear of War Bomber through an opening furlong timed in :24.71, followed by Win for the Money, Tyson, Artie’s Storm and Luckman.
In front by a length through a half in :48.44, Wolfie’s Dynaghost, making his third appearance at Woodbine (qualifying him for a Sovereign Award for Champion Older Male/Main Track), remained unfettered on the front end in the leadup to the final turn, with little change in positioning throughout the field. Coming off the turn for home, Wolfie’s Dynaghost, still running comfortably on the lead, began to pull away from his pursuers and held a 2 ½-length advantage at the stretch call.
From there, the only thing left to decide was second place, as Win for the Money and 40-1 Luckman dueled for the runner-up spot, with the former three-quarters of a length clear of his rival at the wire.
The final time for the 4 ½-length victory was 1:42.52.
“I felt like he had a nice, high cruising pace, and I just kept him steady and just kept it going from the beginning,” said Kimura. “He was really relaxed on the backstretch and just took off from the three-eighths. It was a magnificent race.”
It was the ninth lifetime win, accompanied by a pair of seconds and five thirds from 24 starts for the Kentucky-bred, whose travels have taken him to Florida, New York, Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Wolfie’s Dynaghost is from the Dynaformer mare Dynaire, who also produced $2 million-plus earner Sadler’s Joy, a Grade 1 winner in New York.
It was a field day for longshot players at Woodbine on Sunday over a surface that started off slow, got faster as the day went on and favoured front-runners and horses within a length or two of the lead in every race but one (Light the Lamp came from about 3 lengths off up the rail to win a sprint for trainer Phil Hall when the early pace was extremely fast).
STOLEN MONEY, at 16-to-1 for Bushlot Farm and trainer Danny Yu, scored a remarkable win in race 4 for $25,000 claiming at 1 1/16 miles. A winner at this claiming price on Sept. 23 off the Yu claiming when he was loose on the lead, Stolen Money came into Sunday’s race off two fade-jobs for $32,000 (optional). With a new rider on board, Alex Marti who has come in from BC, Stolen Money engaged even-money favourite Vanbrugh, put that guy away and then fought back when Canadian Pharoah tried to go by into the stretch.
Stolen Money, a four-year-old by We Miss Artie, has won four races this year.
Winning his first race at Woodbine since 2016 was MICHAEL WRIGHT JR. when seven-year-old JOURNEYMAN won a $47,500 claiming in race 9. Wright, the 1998 Sovereign Award winning trainer, came off a six-year hiatus from training earlier this year in Florida and won a race there and recently at Fort Erie.
Journeyman, owned by Katie Wright, was claimed for $35,000 in February from a win at Gulfstream Park. He won in July under trainer Carlos Perez and then came off a layoff one week ago to be fourth in a 1 1/16 mile race. Journeyman and jockey Luis Contreras cut back to 7 furlongs on Sunday and won in 1:22.39 over the red-hot Spirit Animal.