12/04/2016 7:17PM

Bangkok surprises Melmich in Valedictory Stakes

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Michael Burns
Emma-Jayne Wilson wins the Grade 3 Valedictory for the fourth time aboard longshot Bangkok.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario—The longshot Bangkok caught the heavily favored Melmich in the final strides to land Sunday’s Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes, giving jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson her fourth win in Woodbine’s traditional closing-day feature.

Bangkok saved ground in fifth during much of the 1 3/4-mile  marathon, as Decision Day set moderate fractions, with Melmich in close proximity. Melmich seemed headed for victory after assuming command entering the stretch, but Bangkok wore him down on the outside en route to a half-length score, in a time of 2:59.88.

“This race is one of my favorites to ride,” Wilson said. “It takes a really good horse with a really deep pool of stamina to get the job done, and Bangkok had that today. It was a good effort. The connections have done a marvelous job with this horse. This distance is not an easy task. My horse just kept on coming.”

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Ethical Funds finished third at 28-1. He was followed by English Illusion, Mutasaawy, 7-2 second choice Aldous Snow, and Decision Day.

Trained by Phil Gracey, Bangkok returned $37.60 to win. A 5-year-old homebred by Street Hero, he earned $108,000 of the $173,400 purse for the partnership of Gail Wood and Dr. Ruth Barbour.