Updated on 02/14/2012 12:09PM

Woodbine Mile: Turallure gets up by a neck over favored Courageous Cat

Michael Burns
Turallure finishes strongly to take the Woodbine Mile.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario—Turallure mounted a powerful rally from out of traffic under a daring ride from Julien Leparoux to capture Sunday’s $1 million Woodbine Mile.

Turallure ($14.90) was angled wide nearing the eighth pole after saving ground most of the way, and he caught favored Courageous Cat in the final strides to win by a neck. Turallure covered the distance over firm ground in 1:34.92. 

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The Grade 1 Woodbine Mile is a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In event, and trainer Charlie Lopresti said Turallure would likely make his next start in the Grade 1 BC Mile at Churchill Downs. Lopresti said there were lots of anxious moments as he watched Turallure caught behind a wall of horses early in the stretch.

“I was thinking, where are we going to go?” Lopresti said. “It looked like there was nowhere to go. The only thing I was glad about is it’s such a long stretch, and I knew if he could get out, it would give him time to get there. This horse has an amazing kick. Everyone who’s ever ridden him or breezed him in the morning says he just drops you out of the saddle when he goes. He had to do that to make up the ground.”

Courageous Cat attended moderate fractions of 23.83 and 47.11 seconds set by Kara’s Orientation before taking the lead in the stretch, and then held off Right One by a nose for the place. Side Glance finished another length back in fourth, and Riding the River was a close fifth in the 12-horse field.

Patrick Valenzuela rode Courageous Cat for trainer Bill Mott.

“His trip was perfect,” said Valenzuela. “I was hoping he would relax a little longer. He picked it up going into that turn. I was trying to get him to relax without choking him too much, because he does have a little bit of a breathing problem, and I didn’t want to strangle him. He handled the surface good. He galloped out strong.”

Turallure, a son of Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando, collected $600,000 for Four D Stable, which boosted his bankroll to $894,085.

Turallure was the second stakes winner on the card for Leparoux, who also took the Grade 2 Canadian on Never Retreat.