06/27/2013 12:48PM

Woodbine: Black Hornet taking on Langstaff in Achievement

Michael Burns
Black Hornet’s gate-to-wire score in the May 11 Queenston the first stakes victory for both him and his trainer, Pat Parente.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Black Hornet will clash with the unbeaten Langstaff on Saturday in the $150,000 Achievement Stakes, a six-furlong dash for Ontario-breds that could determine the leading 3-year-old sprinter at Woodbine.

Black Hornet wintered in Ontario after a promising 2-year-old season, which included a runner-up placing in an allowance to Clearly Now. Trainer Pat Parente felt the gelding probably needed his comeback in the six-furlong Woodstock Stakes, in which he floundered to fifth after giving the eventual winner, Dan the Tin Man, an early tussle.

Black Hornet’s gate-to-wire score in the May 11 Queenston was the first stakes victory for both horse and trainer. For covering seven furlongs in 1:21.44 under Justin Stein, Black Hornet earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure.

Parente said Black Hornet subsequently had a setback after he made him eligible for the July 7 Queen’s Plate, which made the Achievement the logical alternative.

“He got a little sick after he breezed back off” the Queenston, Parente recalled. “We gave him a little time and got him ready for this one.”

Black Hornet has done most of his damage as a front-runner, but Parente believes the gelding doesn’t need the lead.

“I think he’s okay around horses, as long as you let him do his thing,” Parente explained. “In the Queenston, Justin told me he had to nudge him to get to the front. He broke with [the field], and was content with sitting where he was. He wanted to stay with them.”

Langstaff graduated over five furlongs April 21 and then doubled up in a six-furlong allowance, for which he got a 78 Beyer Speed Figure.

Langstaff switched to the turf June 8 in the six-furlong Bold Ruckus Stakes. After lacking room at the back of the pack on the turn, he closed furiously though the long stretch to prevail by a neck over Click, receiving an 84 Beyer.

“It was a super effort,” trainer Bob Tiller said. “He had a troubled trip on the inside. I didn’t think he was going to get there until the last few jumps. He’s obviously a very talented horse. I like him a lot.”

Jesse Campbell inherits the mount on Langstaff from Luis Contreras, who is riding in a stakes at Belmont on Saturday.

Tiller, who has won the Achievement twice, also entered Kitten Candy.

Kitten Candy is coming off back-to-back seconds, beaten a half-length, in a pair of seven-furlong allowances.

“He’s had a few rough trips, especially his last one,” Tiller said. “He’s doing very well.”

Click was supplemented for $3,000. He set a pressured pace in the Bold Ruckus before tiring. That race came after an easy score in a five-furlong allowance on the Polytrack.