09/19/2010 4:32PM

Redwood does the expected in Northern Dancer

Michael Burns
Redwood, under Michael Hills, captures the Northern Dancer as the favorite.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Redwood, the favored European invader, overtook 29-1 outsider Fifty Proof in the final sixteenth to capture the Grade 1, $771,600 Northern Dancer Turf at Woodbine Sunday.

Redwood ($5.80) saved ground near the back of the back in the nine-horse field, as Fifty Proof set moderate fractions over a firm course in the 1 1/2-mile event. Redwood loomed into contention on the far turn, and then came inside Fifty Proof through the stretch to score by a half-length in a time of 2:28.97.

Windward Islands was a prominent third, beaten 1 3/4 lengths, and Spice Route rallied for fourth. Marsh Side, last year’s Northern Dancer winner, faded to eighth after pressing Fifty Proof until the head of the stretch.

Michael Hills rode Redwood for Juddmonte Farms and trainer Barry Hills.

“I was under no fixed plan,” said Michael Hills. “I took the inside run. English horses like that, you know. I was getting just a perfect passage. I was hoping the horse in front would come off the rail, and he did. It was like, ‘C’mon, Mike, go do your thing’, and away he went.”

Redwood, who banked $450,000, could run back here Oct. 16 in the Grade 1 Canadian International, according to assistant trainer Charlie Hills.