12/07/2014 7:41PM

Turkish holds off late charge to win Valedictory

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The favored Turkish, a $40,000 claim by trainer Tino Attard, held off a charging Royal Blessing to capture Sunday’s Grade 3, $169,300 Valedictory Stakes, the closing-day feature of the Woodbine meet.

Turkish ($7.30) stalked Quiet Country through slow fractions in the 1 3/4-mile marathon before assuming command at the three-eighths pole. He opened up a clear lead in the lane and held Royal Blessing at bay to prevail by neck in a time of 3:02.09.

Following an inquiry, Royal Blessing was demoted from second to third for interfering with Pender Harbour at the eighth pole. Completing the order of finish were Desvelo, Cozy Kitten, Manighar, Bingo Kitten, Quiet Country, and Marathon Run, who was pulled up after leading early.

Emma-Jayne Wilson rode Turkish, who earned $90,000 for owner Larry Cordes, who claimed him Sept. 27.

“He really seems to have come into himself,” said Wilson. “Every time I ride him, three-eighths of a mile out, I just get him going. He’s so big, so long. It just takes a little while to get his feet [underneath him]. I have to admit he was getting a little tired the last eighth of a mile, but he held on courageously. I’m pretty proud of him.”