06/18/2012 5:03PM

Woodbine: Griffith family act hits winner's circle

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Michael Burns
Ray's Away, with Chris Griffith riding, wins the Victoria.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The brothers Griffith were united in the stakes winner's circle here last Saturday as trainer Ricky and jockey Chris collaborated with the 2-year-old colt Ray's Away in the $156,000 Victoria.

Ricky Griffith, a former jockey, is in his fourth year of training after a lengthy stint as an assistant to Mark Casse and is the private trainer for the Debmar Stable of Glenn Harvey and Steve Duffield. The Victoria was his first stakes win.

Chris Griffith, who has been riding since 1988, has shifted his focus to Woodbine this year after spending most of the last several seasons at Fort Erie. The Victoria was the biggest win of his career and his first stakes score at Woodbine.

Ray's Away, who began his career on May 13, was making his second start after dropping a nose decision in his 4 1/2-furlong debut.

And Ray's Away evidently benefited from that experience, as he put away the 1-10 favorite Allaboutcaroline en route to a 2 1/2-length victory in the Victoria.

"All he had to do was move forward off that race, and I knew he'd be competitive," said Griffith, who also sent out Dan the Tin Man to finish last of four, beaten 8 1/4 lengths, in the Victoria.

Dan the Tin Man was making his first career start in the Victoria.

"I'd entered him in a couple of races, but they haven't been going," said Griffith.
"He's been training and training and training. He needed to go out and do something, education-wise. He needed to run.

"I figured if you're going to get education, you might as well get paid for it."

Dan the Tin Man picked up $9,000 for his guided tour of the track while Ray's Away earned $94,500 including the $4,500 which would have gone to a fifth-place finisher.

The 2-year-old fillies Just Got In and Tara From the Cape, who won their only outings for Griffith, are heading in different directions.

Just Got In, who scored by 7 1/2 lengths in a 4 1/2-furlong dash on May 26, has been pointing for the $150,000 My Dear, a five-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday, Queen's Plate Day.

Tara From the Cape, a four-length winner at 4 1/2furlongs on June 9, is headed for Saratoga after Harvey and Duffield sold a two-thirds interest to Eclipse Stable.