09/13/2015 1:55PM

Stacked Deck prevails by neck in Bold Venture

Michael Burns
Stacked Decked, ridden by Luis Saez, holds off heavily favored Calgary Cat in the Bold Venture.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Stacked Deck dug in gamely to take the Grade 3, $151,800 Bold Venture Stakes over the heavily favored Calgary Cat on the Woodbine Mile undercard Sunday.

With Luis Saez aboard, Stacked Deck tracked Essence Hit Man through honest fractions in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint. Calgary Cat loomed into contention on the outside in the stretch, and then dueled through the final furlong with Stacked Deck, who prevailed by a neck after drifting out, in a time of 1:14.75, which was just .25 of a second off the Polytrack record. 

There was in inquiry involving the top two finishers in deep stretch, but there was no change in the order of finish. Puntrooski faded to third, and Essence Hit Man was eased in the four-horse race.

Stacked Deck ($9.30) earned $94,500 for owner Bruce Lunsford and trainer Barbara Minshall.

“I just think Luis is a phenomenal talent,” said Lunsford. “I think he’s going to get better and better. He rode him just the way Barbara wrote it out for him. He didn’t want to get caught in a speed duel, and in the end, he had something left. I was very proud of him.”