08/05/2013 5:49PM

Assiniboia Downs: Assembly Hall best in Manitoba Derby

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Assembly Hall, moving into contention on the far turn, rallied strongly through the stretch to earn a 2 1/4-length victory in the $75,000 Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs on Monday.

Trained by Bryan Porter, who also is the co-owner of the Kentucky-bred in partnership with Dennis Goettsch, Assembly Hall was making his fifth career start and stakes debut in the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby, an open race for 3-year-olds.

Alex Canchari, a 19-year-old who is among the leading riders at Canterbury Park and had piloted Assembly Hall in his last two starts there, including his maiden win over one mile and 70 yards of slop, was aboard for Monday’s score.

“I was just going to try and tuck him in, until I got to the far turn, and then just make a run,” said Canchari.

“On the first turn, I thought some of the other horses went a little wide, so I just tucked in and got a good trip.

“He got there; he just showed a lot of class.”

Assembly Hall, sent off at 7-1, was chased home by a closing Stormin Monarcho, the 6-5 favorite.
Jon Q finished another 2 1/2 lengths back in third while outfinishing It’s All Here, who had taken charge briefly turning into the stretch but had to settle for fourth money.

Ran the Man upsets in R.J. Speers

Trainer Jim Maynard got the four-stakes program off to a flying start by sending out Ran the Man to upset the $30,000 R.J. Speers Stakes.

Racing with blinkers on and with Chavion Chow in the irons, Ran the Man cut out soft fractions of 23.60 seconds, 49.20, and 1:14 en route to a final time of 1:46 for the 1 1/16 miles. Ran the Man scored by 7 3/4 lengths and returned $16.

Flexiplus ended second and Gotatigerbythetail third in the field of eight. Favored Pleasant Colony failed to fire and finished a distant fourth.

Megatron wires Graduation

The $30,000 Graduation Stakes also spawned a front-running winner, as Megatron bounced out on top from his outside post and never looked back en route to a 1 3/4-length score under Adrian Ramos.

Maddie’s Gold finished second in the 5 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-olds, with Regal Silver, one of three fillies in the field of seven, checking in third.

Megatron, trained by Ardell Sayler, returned $4.40 as the favorite after stopping the clock in 1:06.20.

Portales rallies to Oaks victory

Portales, patiently and confidently handled by Adrian Ramos, rallied for a 1 1/2-length victory in the one-mile, $50,000 Assiniboia Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Quinnz Away closed just off the rail and finished second but was disqualified after the stewards ruled she had interfered with the Cmonbabylitemyfire in the stretch run. Dynasheals was moved up to second, Magical Powder to third, and Cmonbabylitemyfire to fourth in the field of eight.

Portales, the 8-5 favorite, was recording her fourth stakes win but her first beyond six furlongs after finishing off moderate fractions for a slow final clocking of 1:43.