06/17/2012 5:01PM

Woodbine: Pender Harbour delivers as favorite in Steady Growth

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Michael Burns
Pender Harbour, last year's champion 3-year-old in Canada, scores under Luis Contrears in the Steady Growth.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Pender Harbour  got the better of second choice Good Better Best in the stretch to take the $125,000 Steady Growth Stakes at Woodbine on  Sunday.

Good Better Best set slow fractions in the 1 1/16-mile  route, while Pender Harbour stalked in third along the rail under Luis Contreras. Pender Harbour ($4.10) went inside Good Better Best on the far turn, and they proceeded to battle until the sixteenth pole, where Pender Harbour began to edge away en route to a two-length tally, in 1:44.62. Guipago finished another four lengths back in third in the eight-horse field of Ontario-sired runners.

“A hole opened up a little, and I asked my horse to go in the hole, and he was gone,” said Contreras. “The other jockey tried to be aggressive, but he just got my horse mad.”

Pender Harbour, Canada’s reigning champion 3-year-old, is trained by Mike DePaulo for a partnership that includes Dennis Andrews.