10/28/2009 11:00PM

Rider's hunch about Dyna Stroll proves right

Email

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Jockey Mario Gutierrez was proven right when Dyna Stroll came from off the pace to win the $107,185 Ascot Graduation at Hastings last Sunday.

Dyna Stroll was stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time following five sprints. After she won her career debut going 3 1/2 furlongs in May, Gutierrez told trainer Troy Taylor that the 2-year-old gelding wouldn't get beat when he went long.

"Mario was pretty confident about him going a distance," said Taylor. "I also thought he would be a better horse when he stretched out. He's certainly bred to go long. He's by Stroll and his dam is by Dynaformer."

Dyna Stroll came out of the race in good shape but is being turned out for now. He could show up at Santa Anita sometime this winter. Taylor is taking nine horses to California and is considering giving Dyna Stroll a try on grass.

"According to his breeding he should love the grass," said Taylor. "We'll see. For now we'll enjoy his win and see how he's doing in the next little while. There's a good chance we'll just turn him out for the winter and bring him back here next year."

Dyna Stroll was purchased by Glen Todd for $15,000 out of the 2008 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society yearling and mixed sale. Todd owns Dyna Stroll with Taylor and Koda Racing Stable. Following his win in the Ascot, Dyna Stroll has earned $126,070.

Dyna Stroll was sent off as the second choice in the wagering behind a three-horse Juan Olmos trained-entry headed by undefeated Huitzilopochtli, who finished seventh.

"It was a rough track and he didn't have the best trip," said Olmos of Huitzilopochtli. "It was meant to be. He wasn't going to stay undefeated forever. I am very happy with the year he had."

Olmos said Huitzilopochtli will be turned out for the winter. "He's done enough."

Huitzilopochtli won four straight stakes and goes home with $141,657.

Silly Fella, who finished second in the Ascot, is also being turned out for the winter. He made the lead on the stretch turn before giving way to Dyna Stroll in the stretch.

"He ran a good race," said his trainer, Lenore Daponte. "He's still growing and the winter off should do him a lot of good."

Silly Fella was coming off of a runaway win in the $106,000 Jack Diamond Futurity.

Ebony N Ice stays cool stretching out

Trainer Barbara Heads wasn't surprised that her 6-1 shot Ebony N Ice upset her 4-5 favorite Vying Ty Grr in the $103,000 Fantasy Stakes for 2-year-old fillies last Saturday.

Vying Ty Grr went into the race off a win in the $106,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity on Oct. 3. In her previous start, Ebony N Ice got up just in time to win in a maiden special weight race on Sept. 13. They were both stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time.

According to Heads, Ebony N Ice's demeanor is much better suited to going a middle distance. Vying Ty Grr, who was ridden by Richard Hamel, appears to have only one way of going, and after dueling with Clandestiny through quick fractions she faded badly to finish fifth, 21 lengths behind Ebony N Ice.

"Vying Ty Grr gets rattled easy and we had a really hard time getting her gate-schooled this spring," said Heads. "Going into the gate for the first time going a mile and a sixteenth did her in. Richard said he could have bounced a penny off of her a mile high she was so tense. We can't complain because she had a great year. She's just a funny filly, and hopefully she'll become more comfortable as she grows up."

The duel helped set up Ebony N Ice, who came from well off the pace with Quincy Welch aboard.

"Nothing bothers Ebony N Ice," said Heads. "Her temperament made it easy to get her ready to go long coming off of a bit of a layoff. We also kind of expected the race would shape up for her."

Heads said both fillies will be turned out for the year. She is also taking some time off herself for the first time since she can remember. Heads usually takes a string of horses to Northern California for the winter.

"I don't remember the last time I took the winter off but it's time for a break," she said. "The funny thing is that I'll probably go on a racetrack vacation."

Injured Welch unsure about 2010 plans

Quincy Welch will take the rest of the meet off after injuring his thumb in a car door last weekend. He tried to ride last Sunday but after riding one horse he booked off the rest of his mounts. According to his agent, Bob Fowlis, Welch is weighing his options for next year.

"He's not sure," said Fowlis. "He's looking at Woodbine, Hastings, or Northlands. He was pretty grateful for all the support he received at Hastings, so it's certainly possible he'll come back here."

Welch, 31, has been one of the leading riders in Alberta for more than 10 years. Between Stampede Park and Northlands Park, he has led the jockey standings in Alberta 13 times. He has won 1,687 races for earnings of $19.4 million.