Updated on 09/15/2011 2:05PM

Unbeaten Rare Friends takes Swynford

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Heavily favored Rare Friends remained unbeaten with a hard-fought score over 20-1 shot Grimer in Sunday's $109,900 Swynford Stakes, a seven-furlong dash for 2-year-olds at Woodbine.

Rare Friends, who was reluctantly loaded into the gate, broke slowly before rushing up to duel with Grimer on the front end through splits of :23.04 and :45.89.

Rare Friends edged clear from Grimer in mid-stretch, but the latter battled back in the final sixteenth, only to come up three-quarters of a length short.

Pat's Expectation closed to finish third in the six-horse field. The final time was a slow 1:25.83.

"He didn't leave (the gate) as well as he has in the past," said David Clark, who rode Rare Friends. "It took him a little while to get his legs under him, and he was packing 124 pounds, which is a lot of weight for a baby to carry."

Rare Friends ($2.50) earned $65,940 in his fourth win for trainer Bob Tiller, who owns the gelding in partnership with Frank DiGiulio Jr.

*Nowyouseeit won the first of two supporting features on the card, the $60,340 Juvenile Stakes for 2-year-olds who passed through local sales.

*First-time starter Hagley's Quest captured the filly version of the six-furlong Juvenile, a $63,880 event.