09/25/2010 4:30PM

Stately Victor gets back on track in Ontario Derby

Michael Burns
Trainer Mike Maker added blinkers to Stately Victor's equipment for the Ontario Derby.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stately Victor won his first race since the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on Saturday in the $154,500 Ontario Derby at Woodbine.
Stately Victor raced wide near the back of the pack during the early stages of the nine-furlong Polytrack route, as Kara’s Orientation set honest fractions, while being pressed by favored Big Red Mike.
Stately Victor commenced a four-wide rally on the far turn in unison with So Elite, who was just to his outside. They hit the front together early in the stretch, and then raced as a team until the eighth pole before Stately Victor drew off to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths. Hotep was another 2 1/4 lengths behind So Elite in third, and Big Red Mike faded to sixth in the eight-horse field.
With Victor Lebron aboard, Stately Victor covered the distance in 1:50.51. He collected $90,000 for owners Thomas and Jack Conway.
It was the first win at Woodbine for trainer Mike Maker, who added blinkers Saturday following the colt’s disappointing effort in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby.
“When he ran at Colonial Downs last time, he looked like a horse who had never seen the racetrack,” Maker recalled. “At the top of the stretch, he looked like he wanted to make a right-hand turn. It was completely out of character, so we went back to [the blinkers].”