August 5, 2012
Irish Mission accomplishedFilly outduels Sam Son runner in Breeders' Stakes
By RICHARD MAUNTAH, QMI Agency
Two years ago this month, owner Robert Evans bought Irish Mission from breeder Sam Son Farms at a cost of $375,000.
Sunday at Woodbine, he got $300,000 of that back, at the expense of a horse Sam Son Farms owns.
Irish Mission finally got her piece of the Canadian triple crown by winning the $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes by a half length over Aldous Snow.
It may have also been a bit of revenge for trainer Mark Frostad who was let go by Sam Son earlier this year.
Ridden by Alex Solis and send off as the co-second choice at 9-2 along with Aldous Snow, Irish Mission settled into a nice position along the rail early.
She continued to draft in mid-pack behind horses through the backstretch while the lead was being contested by Colleen’s Sailor and long shot Lateegra.
At the half-mile pole, Solis took her outside and advanced towards the lead which at the top of the stretch was briefly held by 3-1 favourite Dixie Strike.
Irish Mission took the lead just before the 3/16 pole but immediately had Aldous Snow to her outside. And while it looked like a great duel down the stretch, the reality is that Irish Mission was able to keep a half-length advantage on her rival to the wire. The time of 2:30 4/5 was average for this calibre.
“She broke right where I wanted her to,” Solis said. “I just wanted to be patient. The first quarter of a mile, I let her lope around there and when I got to the backside, I said, ‘Stay patient’. At the five-eighths pole, I started picking them up little by little and got in a good position at the five-sixteenths, and just had to wait.”
Quaesitor outlasted the remaining 11 starters to finish third. A good effort from the Ashlee Brnjas-trained Seen It All Before earned fourth money.
A daughter of Giants Causeway, Irish Mission had four previous turf starts including her maiden-breaking effort at Keeneland. After that first win in what was her seventh career start, she won the Woodbine Oaks and then finished second to Strait of Dover in the Queen’s Plate. However, in the Prince of Wales Stakes, she showed her disdain for the Fort Erie dirt, ending sixth to Dixie Strike. Frostad believes there’s more in the tank
“I don’t think you’ve seen the best of this filly,” said Frostad. “I think as a four and five-year-old, she could be any kind of horse.”
Sammy Maudlin ended fifth followed by Dixie Strike, who had little left after making that brief lead. Lateegra, Ultimate Destiny, Street Fight, Peyton, Dragon Tail, Colleen’s Sailor, Big Kick and Wilcox rounded out the order.
Bright future for Aldous Snow
We’re going to hear more from Aldous Snow, that’s for sure.
The son of Theatrical battled Irish Mission down the stretch in the Breeders’ Stakes for his first stakes placing, an effort that pleased jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
“I could not ask for a better trip. The horse was very relaxed and he gave everything he could,” he said. “He ran big, but the filly never let me go by.”
“I had all kinds of horse (at the top of the stretch). I was not even moving yet, I was just starting to run and I knew he was going to give a good kick. I was surprised she could hold me off.”
Earlier in the day, Da Silva rode Cryptic Message to victory in the $125,000 Nandi Stakes.
Trained by Ralph Biamonte, Cryptic Message is now unbeaten in three starts. The two-year-old filly won the Shady Well Stakes last month.