05/20/2017 5:20PM

Dragon Bay springs 18-1 upset in Eclipse Stakes

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Michael Burns
Dragon Bay undr Gary Boulanger, holds off favored Are You Kidding Me in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Dragon Bay, an 18-1 shot ridden by Gary Boulanger, held off the troubled favorite Are You Kidding Me to take the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.

Riker set slow fractions in the 1 1/16-mile route, while being pressed by Dragon Bay and Go Around. Are You Kidding Me raced farther back than usual in sixth on the backstretch, and then rallied inside on the far turn before awaiting room.

Dragon Bay ($38) took control from Riker at the eighth pole, and then dug in gamely to prevail by a neck over Are You Kidding Me, who had closed on his left lead on the outside after finding room.

Unbridled Juan finished four lengths in arrears in third. He was followed by Eirigh, Riker, Noble Thought, Go Around, and Oakton.

Dragon Bay is trained by Stu Simon, who owns the 4-year-old son of Parading in partnership with Brent and Russell McLellan.

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“I didn’t think there was much speed in the race, other than Riker,” said Boulanger. “Not knowing the horse, Stu said he’s pretty forward. You can do what you want with him. When he broke good, I just tracked [Riker] for as long as I had to. At the half-mile pole, I really liked the position I was in. He was doing it really easy. I passed [Riker], and Stu had warned me about him lugging in, but he’s been good recently. He ran really hard down the lane. He’s a pretty nice horse.”

Dragon Bay completed the distance in 1:43.79, and earned $105,000 of the $180,250 purse.