12/02/2013 12:19PM

Woodbine: Pender Harbour, Ultimate Destiny renew rivalry in Sir Barton Stakes

Michael Burns
Ultimate Destiny beats Pender Harbour by a neck in the Bunty Lawless Stakes on Oct. 20.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The relatively new rivalry between Pender Harbour and Ultimate Destiny will be renewed Wednesday night at Woodbine in the $125,000 Sir Barton Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile route for Ontario-sired runners.

Ultimate Destiny caught the front-running Pender Harbour on the wire in the Oct. 20 Bunty Lawless Stakes, where they both earned career-high 97 Beyer Speed Figures. When they hooked up again Nov. 15 in the Grade 2 Autumn, Pender Harbour flattened out to finish third, while Ultimate Destiny was a non-threatening fourth.

Pender Harbour, Canada’s champion 3-year-old in 2011, is winless in six starts at the meet.

“He’s run some super races this year,” trainer Mike De Paulo said. “I’ve got to win a race with the poor guy.”

De Paulo said he thinks Pender Harbour and UItimate Destiny both bounced in the Autumn and that one of them would have won had he run back to his race in the Bunty Lawless.

Luis Contreras has the mount on Pender Harbour for the first time since they teamed up to take the 2012 Bunty Lawless.

“He’s being reunited with his champion jockey,” De Paulo said.

Ultimate Destiny is at the end of a highly productive season for owner and trainer Alec Fehr. The 4-year-old has won four of seven starts and $284,780 this year.

Fehr said Ultimate Destiny failed to bring his “A” game in the Autumn, in which he was beaten 4 3/4 lengths and earned an 85 Beyer.

“It was a tougher spot than his previous Ontario-sired races,” Fehr said. “I think it was more him not running [his race]. He was a little flat coming up to it a few days out. He was fine but wasn’t as aggressive as he usually is. He can be a bear leading up to a race when he knows he’s running.”

Port Severn has won three consecutive allowances, including a 1 1/4-mile event that was taken off the turf Nov. 2. The 3-year-old son of Queen’s Plate winner Niigon is making his stakes debut for trainer Rachel Halden.

“We always thought he settled better on turf, but he really impressed me last time going a mile and a quarter on Poly to settle and win like he did,” Halden said.

San Nicola Thunder upset Ontario-sired 3-year-olds going a mile on turf in the Sept. 1 Vice Regent Stakes before finishing a wide third in the Bunty Lawless.

Moonlit Beauty wired females in her last two appearances, which came in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf and Classy ‘n Smart stakes.