05/14/2017 8:55PM

Modern captures George Royal Stakes for third time

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Modern, ridden by Richard Hamel, was part of a three-win day for trainer Dino Condilenios and owner Swift Thoroughbreds.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It was a huge day at Hastings on Sunday for trainer Dino Condilenios and owners Swift Thoroughbreds Inc.

Starting in the fifth race with Salzburg ($8.30), they won three straight races, including the $50,000 George Royal Stakes with Modern for the third year in a row. Modern paid $4.20 for his front-running win over Bistraya in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up.  Silvertown won the seventh race and paid $3.50.

With Richard Hamel aboard Modern broke alertly and without much urging set interior fractions of 22.51 and 45.41 seconds while being chased by Hobbits Hero. He opened up a clear lead on the stretch turn, held a 2 1/2-length advantage over Hobbits Hero at the top of the stretch, and never looked like losing while holding off Bistraya to win by a half-length. Venetian Mask rallied from last in the five-horse field to finish third. The final time over a track rated sloppy was 1:16.79.

The race took on a completely different shape when the likely favorite, the multiple graded sprint stakes winner Distinctiv Passion, scratched. Distinctiv Passion, trained by Phil Hall was coming off a front-running win in his first start at Hastings in the $50,000 Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural on opening day. Modern was eased into a stalking position when he finished third in the Swift.

“Even if Distinctiv Passion was in the race we weren’t taking him back this time,” said Condilenios. “It obviously made a big difference when he came out of the race.”

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“He loves to out in front and he showed his worth today,” said Hamel. “He’s just a nice horse.”

A son of Tiznow, Modern is now 9 for 28 lifetime and brought his earnings to $319,722.