05/13/2017 5:35PM

Yorkton uses speed to capture Queenston Stakes

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Michael Burns
The 3-year-old Yorkton, under Eurico Da Silva, scores by 3 1/2 lengths in the seven-furlong Queenston.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Yorkton broke sharply and never looked back in the $125,000 Queenston Stakes for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, taking the field gate-to-wire under jockey Eurico Da Silva.

In his previous start in the Woodstock Stakes on April 22, Yorkton ($7.10) gave way in the final strides to be third after dueling early with Marten River. This time, he was able to clear the field early, going a length in front of Sailing Home and Marten River through early opening splits of 23.26 seconds for the opening quarter -mile and 46.40 for a half-mile.

Yorkton widened his advantage through the stretch, crossing the wire first in 1:22.27 for seven furlongs on Tapeta. He was 3 1/2 lengths clear of Sailing Home, who held on to the place position by a nose over the favored Lokinforpursemonee.

“He went [to the lead] and he ran a relaxed race,” Da Silva said. “When I turned for home, I just kicked and he just exploded home.”

It was Yorkton’s first career stakes win in his seventh career start, and he banked the $75,000 winner’s share to bring his career earnings to $135,841 for trainer Stuart Simon and owner-breeder Chiefswood Stable.

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The Queenston has traditionally served as an early prep on the road to the Queen’s Plate. Yorkton was originally nominated to the Queen’s Plate in February, but did not remain eligible after second payment deadline on May 3. Simon said the connections felt Yorkton, a son of Speightstown, was at his best sprinting.

“We made a decision that we figured he probably is a sprinter,” Simon said. “We don’t want to discourage him and we want him to progress in the right fashion. We’ll see how things go and take it from here.”