King’s Plate contender TWIN CITY (Klimt – Minnie Apple Is by Harlan’s Holiday) won a wild stretch battle by a scant nose to take the $116,000 King Corrie Stakes at Woodbine on May 21. It was the first start of 2023 for the long-striding bay gelding who was a $40,000 yearling purchase at the 2021 CTHS Ontario sale by Russ, Brent and Roy McLellan and Stuart Simon, who also trains. Twin City was bred by Frank DiGiulio Jr., who had a big winner on the weekend himself (read more below).

In the top 10 King’s Plate hopefuls on Canadian Thoroughbred‘s Plate watch, Twin City  and his rider Gary Boulanger sat just off a slow pace set by Keen Flatter who crawled in 23.88 and 47.28 to the half-mile mark early in the seven-furlong race. Heavily-favoured Wico (Ire), in from Kentucky for trainer Wesley Ward, was also in close attendance and was the first to strike front into the stretch under Kazushi Kimura. From there, Twin City and Wico dueled to the wire, with Twin City getting the nod in 1:23.02 for an 80 Beyer Speed Figure, according to Daily Racing Form.

Twin City had won his maiden last year as a two-year-old and had four other second-place finishes in his five races including a troubled runner-up placing, by a neck, in the Coronation Futurity at 1 1/8 miles to Velocitor.

Wico was second in the King Corrie with Keen Flatter holding third and Stayhonor Goodside a good fourth, rallying from behind the slow pace.

“He’s a pretty good colt,” said Boulanger. “He broke really hard and Stu says, ‘Ride him like you know him.’ Him being so close [to the pace] didn’t concern me because he’s so manageable and ratable. I was confident from the five-eighths pole. Stu did a tremendous job. He’s always been a special colt and last year as a two-year-old, he had a couple of unlucky races where he probably should have won with some racing luck. First thing I said to Stu was, ‘We finally got the photo our way.’”

Twin City is by the Quality Road stallion KLIMT, a Grade 1 sprinting stakes winner of the Del Mar Futurity as a two-year-old. Klimt entered stud in 2018 and is now standing in Turkey.

The dam of Twin City is Frank DiGiulo’s Minnie Apple Is, a winning daughter of Sovereign award-winning sprinting mare INDIAN APPLE IS.


Speaking of Frank DiGiulio, his homebred PATCHES O’HOULIHAN (named for the character in the movie Dodgeball) scored a jaw-dropping win in Sunday’s finale, an optional claiming race for three-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs. The son of Reload – Maythefourthbewithut by Silent Name (Jpn) won by 9 1/2 lengths in his season debut and third career start, and posted a 92 Beyer Figure for his time of 1:03.09.

Trained by Robert Tiller, Patches O’Houlihan won his debut in September 2022 and then had a troubled trip in the Bull Page Stakes on turf before he went on vacation. Daisuke Fukumoto rode Patches O’Houlihan.


Also on Sunday, Al and Bill Ulwelling and trainer Kevin Attard unleashed their second impressive two-year-old debut winner in as many starts on the weekend. BOLT ENOREE (Bolt d’Oro), a filly, was on the also eligible list for the first juvenile race of the season on Saturday which was for fillies. She wound up tackling colts on Sunday and zipped away to a big win under Emma-Jayne Wilson in 51.84 for 4 1/2 furlongs. Bred by Mark Dodson, her Beyer Figure was 67. Second in the race was the heavily-favoured My Boy Prince, by Cairo Prince, the sales topper from the CTHS Ontario sale last year.

The Ulwellings also won the Saturday juvenile race with the Hard Spun filly PENNICK, who won by 5 1/2 lengths in 51.22 over a very fast Tapeta surface. Her Beyer Figure was 66. Rafael Hernandez rode Pennick, who was bred by  Anderson Farms Ontario.


ONE BAY HEMINGWAY, a homebred three-year-old ridgling for Howard Walton, posted an 84 Beyer Figure in an optional claiming race win on Saturday. The son of Danger Bay won the speed duel and drew off under Luis Contreras, racing 6 1/2 furlongs in a rapid 1:15.32 on the fast Tapeta surface. Now a three-time winner in seven races, One Bay Hemingway is a King’s Plate eligible and he is trained by Sid Attard.

The Mark Casse stable won three races Sunday and the Ruling Angel stakes on Saturday with RYDER RYDER RYDER. A daughter of Quality Road and a $600,000 yearling purchase, Ryder Ryder Ryder won handily over Grade 1 winner Last Call in 1:21.79 for seven furlongs for an 82 Beyer Figure. The filly is owned by Live Oak Plantation and she is two for three in her career, all with Patrick Husbands riding.


Culpepper Island Syndicate’s KAUKOKAIPUU, a Plate eligible who had six runner-up placings in eight races coming into a maiden special weight on Saturday, finally won, and he won big. The grey colt by Mr. Speaker – Grey Pride by Mizzen Mast, trained by Ted Holder, won by 9 1/2 lengths in 1:22.31 for a 75 Beyer Figure. Bred by Sean Fitzhenry, Kaukokaipuu  (wanderlust) was ridden by Rico walcott. The colt was a $10,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling in 2021.