10/22/2005 11:00PM

Relaxed Gesture best in Canadian International

Michael Burns
Corey Nakatani guides Relaxed Gesture to the wire to win the Grade 1, $2,002,000 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine on Sunday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Relaxed Gesture overhauled another New York invader, Meteor Storm, at the eighth pole and then drew off for a decisive victory in the $2,002,000 at Woodbine Sunday.

The Grade 1 International was the second stakes win on the card for Moyglare Stud, trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Corey Nakatani, a combination which also captured the Grade 2 Nearctic with Steel Light.

Nakatani gave Relaxed Gesture a patient ride in the mile and a half turf marathon, which was run over yielding ground. Relaxed Gesture raced about nine lengths off the lead along the backstretch, as King's Drama set quick fractions of :24.66, :49.64 and 1:14.09 seconds, while being pressed by Yeats.

Meteor Storm inherited a clear lead exiting the far turn, as Relaxed Gesture and favored Electrocutionist were both in the midst of their rallies. Relaxed Gesture went on to a 4 1/2-length score, completing the distance in 2:32.64 while earning $1.2 million.

Grey Swallow finished another neck back in third, a length and a quarter ahead of Electrocutionist. A stewards' inquiry regarding the stretch run resulted in Grey Swallow being disqualified and placed fourth for whip interference on Electrocutionist, who was promoted to third in the 10-horse field.

Relaxed Gesture was coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Man O' War at Belmont under Nakatani, who said he didn't give the colt the best of rides then.

"I thought I made a mistake in his last race," Nakatani explained. "The pace was really fast, and it was firm going. He's a stayer, and we felt it was our best chance to put him in the race. I couldn't have been more ecstatic (today) when Chris said to sit on him and make one run. I felt he would put in a really solid kick, like he did this afternoon. He showed that he was much the best."

* Another New York shipper, Honey Ryder overcame a troubled trip to land the supporting feature on the card, the Grade 1, $1,002,800 .

Honey Ryder was steadied by John Velazquez early on the far turn of the mile and a quarter turf tilt, but she regrouped nicely in the stretch and mounted a strong wide rally to prevail by a half-length over Latice, who had traffic problems of her own. Ambitious Cat finished another head back in third, and favored Punctilious wound up 10th in the 12-horse field of fillies and mares.

"I got shut off going to the three-eighths pole," Velazquez said. "There was a wall of horses going to the quarter pole, and once I pulled her out (wide), she responded very well."

Honey Ryder ($10.90) ran the distance in 2:06.70. Trained by Todd Pletcher, she banked $600,000 for owner John Greathouse.

* Favored Steel Light split horses in mid-stretch and outran 24-1 shot Sophia's Prince in the final furlong to take the $502,800 by a neck.

Steel Light ($8.70) covered "about" six furlongs on the grass in 1:12.14, earning $300,000.