11/29/2010 1:19PM

Switch to Poly no issue for Tiz Blessed in Display Stakes

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Michael Burns
Tiz Blessed wins Sunday's Display Stakes at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Tiz Blessed had kept some good company south of the border, winning on the dirt at Saratoga and finishing fourth in the one-mile Garden State at Monmouth Park prior to shipping here for Sunday’s $152,100 Display Stakes.

But both of those outings had come over dirt surfaces, and Tiz Blessed had to be considered a question mark with the switch to the local Polytrack surface.

Tiz Blessed obviously was unfazed by the new footing, however, as he romped to a 5 1/2-length win under jockey Patrick Husbands in the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds.

Tiz Blessed was the 15th stakes winner of the meeting for Husbands, who trails Chantal Sutherland by two in that category with just three stakes remaining at the meeting.

Husbands did not have a mount for Wednesday’s Sir Barton at entry time, while Sutherland has the call on longshot Killdares Prospect.

Sutherland is slated to return aboard Inglorious, winner of the six-furlong Fanfreluche in her only start to date, in Saturday’s $150,000 Ontario Lassie, while Husbands is scheduled the ride Sense of Pride in the 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

Sense of Pride finished second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race here Nov. 18 after running third when making her second career start in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth. Grand Style and Lisvernane, the top two finishers in the Princess Elizabeth, also are expected for the Ontario Lassie.

On Sunday Husbands is slated to pilot Pool Play, the probable favorite for the $150,000 Valedictory, with Sutherland set for a return engagement aboard the New York-based Zhivago in the 1 3/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.

Pool Play was an impressive winner in the 1 5/8-mile Valedictory prep here Nov. 16, and Eye of the Leopard, the runner-up there, also is eyeing the Sunday marathon.

Zhivago, trained by Jim Bond, won his maiden over 1 1/2 miles while trying Polytrack for the first time in his local debut and third overall outing here Oct. 21.

Da Silva closes in on riding title

After being the leading rider here at the past three meetings, Husbands will be finishing second behind Eurico Rosa da Silva in races won this season.

Da Silva has ridden 186 winners heading into the final week, 20 more than his nearest rival.

Chantal Sutherland, with 131 wins; Omar Moreno, with 125; and Luis Contreras, with 116, round out the top five.

Husbands rode 188 winners when tops in that category last year, while Sutherland ranked second with 139 wins and Da Silva third with 123.

Trainer Mark Casse, with 84 wins to date, will be the leading trainer for the third straight year, while Reade Baker has clinched second place with 61 wins.

Sid Attard, with 45 wins; Steve Asmussen, with 44; and Bob Tiller, with 40 winners; round out the top five.

Casse sent out 71 winners last year, 19 more than runner-up Sid Attard. Asmussen and Roger Attfield deadlocked for third with 52 wins and Tiller ended fifth with 49.

DePaulo gets stakes win at meet

Trainer Mike DePaulo had been looking for a stakes win to put the finishing touch on an otherwise satisfactory Woodbine meeting.

And DePaulo got his wish here last Saturday as he sent out Pender Harbour to capture the $128,200 Kingarvie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

“We didn’t get shut out,” said DePaulo, who had watched Pender Habour rally from off the pace under rider Slade Callaghan to score by a going-away 2 1/4 lengths at odds of almost 10-1.

The win also was a very pleasant surprise for Callaghan, who picked up the mount at the draw and had never sat aboard Pender Harbour until DePaulo gave him a leg up in the walking ring.

“I thought there’d be a bit of pace in the race, and I told Slade to cover up with him early,” DePaulo said. “But he was worried he was going to get stuck inside, so he took him wide, and it worked out.”

Pender Harbour had raced twice prior to the Kingarvie, finishing a troubled fourth and then winning impressively while competing in restricted maiden races over seven furlongs.

“I always thought he was a route horse,” DePaulo said. “His pedigree says he’ll go long, and he acts like he’s a stayer.”

Pender Harbour, purchased for $17,000 at the local select yearling sale, has now banked $112,620 for his Alberta-based owners Denny Andrews and Bob Giffin.

The winner was the 34th of the meeting for DePaulo, good for eighth place in the standings heading into the final week.

Work tab looking sparse

Training activity is winding down as the end of the meeting nighs, and just 27 horses recorded workouts here Monday morning.

Tom Cosgrove, a director of racing for the Woodbine Entertainment Group, has advised horsemen that the track will be open for just two hours beginning at 7 a.m. This Sunday the gate will open at 8 a.m.

Steve Attard meets his goal

Trainer Steve Attard, who is DePaulo’s brother-in-law, also met his goal for the meeting by passing the $1 million mark in earnings.

Shades of Gold put Attard over the top in Saturday’s 10th race, picking up $6,270 for his fifth-place finish. Heading into the final five days, his total stood at $1,003,713.

“I’m very happy; this is two years in a row now we’ve passed $1 million,” said Attard, who has won 20 races at the meeting but does not number a stakes among them.

CTHS sale posts declines

Declines in gross and average were realized at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s winter mixed sale at the Woodbine Sales Pavilion last Saturday.

A total of 124 horses and stallion seasons brought $506,500, for an average of $4,085. The gross was down 14 percent, and the average decreased by 24 percent from last year, when 110 lots sold for $590,100, while averaging $5,365.

There were 75 listed as not sold, compared to 46 in 2009.

Cantium Bloodstock paid $63,000 for the sale-topper, 8-year-old The Queen’s Stamp. Richard Moylan, agent, consigned the stakes-placed mare by Prized, who is in foal to Sky Conqueror.

The top-priced yearling, at $39,000, was a Successful Appeal colt bought by Arravale Racing from Huntington Stud Farm, agent.

Richard Hogan Bloodstock purchased the two highest-priced weanlings, a $29,000 son of Bold Executive and a $26,000 colt by War Cry.

– additional reporting by Ron Gierkink