09/01/2013 3:39PM

Woodbine: San Nicola Thunder scores upset in Vice Regent Stakes

Michael Burns
San Nicola Thunder (inside), with Justin Stein aboard, wins the Vice Regent Stakes by a neck over County Lineman on Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – San Nicola Thunder ($49.10) notched his first stakes win in Sunday’s $125,400 Vice Regent, giving jockey Justin Stein a sweep of the two stakes on the Woodbine card.

Stein, who also won the $104,800 Avowal Stakes on Part the Seas, rated San Nicola Thunder in fifth in the one-mile turf route before they commenced a three-wide rally exiting the turn. San Nicola Thunder hit the front near the eighth pole and then held on to prevail by a neck over another son of leading Ontario sire Silent Name, County Lineman.

The favored Langstaff rallied from the back of the pack to finish third, another 1 1/2 lengths back, in the nine-horse field of Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

John Cardella trains San Nicola Thunder for owners Paul Cooper and Joe Pirone.

“Justin rode him perfect,” Cardella said. “Unfortunately, the horse stumbled leaving the gate in his last couple of starts. Today, when he broke good, I thought he’d run a big race. He had a good, clean trip.”