07/22/2012 4:20PM

Woodbine: Riding the River overcomes traffic and weather hurdles in Nijinsky

Michael Burns
Riding the River wins the Nijinsky under Todd Kabel and returns $20.90 to win.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Riding the River made his way through traffic and heavy rain in the stretch to win the $322,200 Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine Sunday.

Riding the River saved ground through the turn of the about nine-furlong turf race, as the favored shipper Imagining and Pender Harbour tracked the leading Kara’s Orientation in the Grade 2 turf event. Riding the River was shut off between rivals early in the stretch, and then kicked on after finding room to score by neck over the wide-closing Hotep. Pender Harbour was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third, and Imagining faded to fifth in the six-horse field. 

Riding the River paid $20.90.

Todd Kabel rode Riding the River for trainer Dave Cotey, who owns the gelding in partnership with Hugh Galbraith and Linmac Farm.

“That’s the furthest our little guy has gone, and he has a trip like that,” said Cotey. “He just forced his way though. He’s such a game little guy.”

Riding the River ran the about nine furlongs in 1:48.05 and banked $180,000.

* Favored Stars to Shine caught the front-running Hooh Why in late stretch to take Sunday’s other stakes, the $153,000 Ontario Matron for fillies and mares.

Stars to Shine overcame a difficult inside trip under Alex Solis prevail by a length over Hooh Why, who held on for second by a neck over a closing Ariana D.

Trained by Mark Frostad, Stars to Shine covered 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack in 1:45.04 in the Grade 3 fixture.