08/21/2016 3:42PM

Maryland shipper Messi captures Sky Classic

Michael Burns
Messi, ridden by Edgar Prado, wins the Grade 2 Sky Classic by 2 1/2 lengths.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario—The Maryland shipper Messi kicked away in the stretch under Edgar Prado to post a mild upset in the Grade 2, $204,400 Sky Classic Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday. 

Messi ($10.20) pressed a slow pace, set by Fixador, in the 10-furlong turf event. The favored Up With the Birds mounted a wide bid from last on the far turn to reach contention, and Are You Kidding Me loomed boldly at the quarter pole, but they failed to catch Messi, who prevailed by 2 1/2 lengths, in time of 2:00.89 over the firm ground.

Are You Kidding Me held off Up With the Birds for second, and Button Down finished a troubled fourth, in a field reduced to seven after the scratch of Dynamic Sky.

“It seemed like there wasn’t much speed in the race,” said Prado. “We tried to lay second all the way. We came home strong. He was doing everything so easy. He had plenty left in the stretch.”

The Graham Motion-trained Messi, a German-bred son of New Approach, earned $120,000 for owner Gestut Brummerhof.

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