09/06/2010 4:44PM

Mesa Cielo pulls off Elgin upset

Michael Burns
Mesa Cielo, with Jim McAleney riding, wraps up a victory in the Elgin.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Mesa Cielo upset 3-10 favorite Sand Cove in the first of six $125,000 yearling sales stakes at Woodbine Monday in the 1 1/16-mile Elgin for older males.

Mesa Cielo ($14.50) went right to the front and set slow fractions under Jim McAleney, en route to a 2 1/2-length score over Mobthewarrior, in a time of 1:43.98. After tracking the front-runner, Sand Cove faded in the stretch to finish a distant third in the five-horse field.

Trained by Reade Baker, Mesa Cielo was coming off a victory in his first start with blinkers, in a $40,000 conditioned claimer July 14.

“All through his career, he lugged in badly,” said Baker. “We put the blinkers on him last time, and we thought once he saw the rail [on the lead], that he wouldn’t lug in, and that’s what happened. We thought that we could take Sand Cove’s game away from him. He likes to be on the rail and alone, and we didn’t want him to do those things today.”

Don’s Folly ($9.70) overhauled favored Drunken Love and 26-1 shot Flashy Yankee in deep stretch to take the six-furlong Kenora by a neck over Drunken Love. The Ian Black-trained Don’s Folly covered six furlongs in 1:09.39, under jockey Slade Callaghan.

Guipago spoiled the party for the 1-2 choice, Society’s Chairman, in the Halton, the lone turf race in the series. Over a course labeled good, Guipago rallied from fourth under Justin Stein to land the one-mile route by a half-length, in a time of 1:37.03, returning $19.

McAleney won his third race on the card aboard 13-1 outsider Secret Wish in the Algoma. Trained by Liz Charalambous, Secret Wish rallied very wide from the back of the pack and wore down Selembao in the late stages to win by length in a time of 1:45.66 for 1 1/16 miles.

Invitation Only ($43.80) parlayed an inside, pace-pressing trip into a maiden tally in the Simcoe, a seven-furlong sprint for male 2-year-olds. Apprentice Omar Moreno got a leg up from trainer Dave Cotey on Invitation Only, who completed the distance in 1:23.09.

Trainer Bill Tharrenos finished one-two in the Muskoka, when Lucky Be Me ($12.70) nosed out the 3-5 favorite, Tree Pose, for the win. With Richard Dos Ramos aboard, Lucky Be Me covered seven furlongs in 1:23.78 in the seven-furlong dash for 2-year-old fillies.

“I was expecting a big race from both of them,” said Tharrenos. “I’m proud that they both showed up.”