09/20/2009 12:00AM

Just as Well wins Northern Dancer by DQ

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Just as Well took Sunday's at Woodbine by disqualification, after Marsh Side was demoted from first for causing interference in the stretch.

Medjool set moderate fractions in the 1 1/2-mile turf event, while Marsh Side raced well back in second on the backstretch. Marsh Side hit the front early in the stretch on the outside, but then began to drift toward the rail from right-handed whipping by Javier Castellano, with Quijano to his inside.

Just as Well and Champs Elysees both rallied inside from the back of the pack, and Champs Elysees was shut off along the rail inside the eighth pole, forcing Garrett Gomez to check him. Just as Well avoided the incident and surged late to finish a half-length back in second under Julien Leparoux.

After a long inquiry, the stewards placed the Neil Drysdale-trained Marsh Side fourth. Quijano was promoted to second, and Champs Elysees was placed third. The final time was 2:26.68.

Just as Well ($8.80), who was coming off a runner-up placing in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, earned $450,000 for owner/trainer Jonathan Sheppard.

"I give Julian a lot of credit," Sheppard said. "He easily could have been in the melee, but I think he saw it coming up and managed to stay far enough behind them and had a clear run down the middle. The horse ran a superb race. We thought coming off two consecutive mile-and-a-quarter races, where he was closing well, that this was a good time to try him at the mile and a half."