Touch ‘n Ride shows toughness on turf to take Breeders’ Stakes

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Touch ‘n Ride needed the length of the stretch to win the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes. He also needed to show a little toughness.

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The three-year-old colt was carried to the outer half of Woodbine’s turf track in the stretch by Elysian Field late in the 1 1/2-mile final leg of the Canadian triple crown. But he still had enough to prevail by a short head at odds of 4-1.

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Ridden by Kazushi Kimura, Touch ‘n Ride was never far off a reasonable pace early in the test. His tracking spot allowed him to move well around the turn. In the stretch, Elysian Field, the Woodbine Oaks winner who finished second in the King’s Plate, took the lead briefly but Touch ‘n Ride came right beside her. And despite being carried several paths wide, he was able to get the nose in front just short of the wire.

It was the first Canadian triple crown stakes win for Kimura, Woodbine’s leading rider.

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“I’m always trying to win a triple crown race and I finally made it,” Kimura said.

A son of Candy Ride bred by his owner Chiefswood Stables, Touch n’ Ride started his career on July 1 with a third-place finish on the turf. After breaking his maiden smartly in his next start on the Tapeta track, he was entered in the Plate where he attracted some support. He finished a respectable fifth that day behind Paramount Prince.

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Trainer Layne Giliforte, a long-time veteran of the Woodbine and Fort Erie backstretches, also celebrated his first triple crown win with a horse he knew could carry out this task.

“I had a great feeling coming into the race,” he said. “We talked about this since the first time he ran. I knew this was something he could do.”

Making a splash on the toteboard was Twowaycrossing, who finished third at 51-1 for trainer Roger Attfield. Paramount Prince finished last but one in the 14-horse field.

Also Sunday, Forever Dixie, with Patrick Husbands aboard, closed smartly along the rail to win the $125,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes. It was the third career win for the Mark Casse-trained three-year-old filly.

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