Artie’s Storm looms a dangerous presence in Grade 3 Durham Cup
TORONTO, October 6, 2022 – Artie’s Storm’s late surge fell just short at Woodbine in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup on August 14.
On Saturday, a more timely descent could land Artie’s Storm in the winner’s circle when he faces eight other older rivals under the same terms in the Grade 3 $150,000 Durham Cup.
“He was flying on end,” said Buttigieg, who also races the gelding under the Buttigieg Training Centre banner. “Another jump, he wins it.”
Artie’s Storm has been the steadiest member of a volatile older male main track division racing around two turns this season, scoring over runner-up Frosted the Grade 2 Eclipse in his seasonal bow at 1 1/16 miles and following with a second-place finish behind that rival in the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Dominion Day.
Following a ninth-place finish in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup over 7 furlongs on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, the son of We Miss Artie rediscovered his better stride during his unlucky most recent venture.
“He’s doing fantastic,” said Buttigieg. “He’s had seven weeks off now; he’s been on holiday all summer.”
David Moran, who has been in the irons for each of Artie’s Storm’s 14 career starts, again will do the honours.
War Bomber, a front-running winner at 18-1 in the Seagram Cup, returned to finish a faltering ninth of 11 in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and is back where he can do some damage on Saturday.
Owned by Bruno Schickedanz and conditioned by Norm McKnight, the gelding again will have Sahin Civaci in the irons.
Frosted Over, Canada’s champion male 3-year-old of 2021, ended fourth as the favourite in the Seagram Cup after failing to make much of an impression when debuting on turf in the 1 ¼-mile Niagara for Mark Casse.
The dark horse in the Durham Cup is Special Forces, who at age 7 is spotting three years to each of his rivals.
Beaten a nose in the 2019 running of the Durham Cup and victorious in the 2021 renewal, Special Forces had failed to make an impression when racing in this year’s Eclipse, Dominion Day and Seagram, but woke up with a solid victory at 1 1/16 miles when dropped in for a $50,000 tag.
“I had to drop him in class a bit, to kind of get him to break through,” said trainer Kevin Attard, who also is co-owner of the gelding along with Soli Mehta. “I guess maybe you could say he was slow to come around, a little bit.
“But I thought his last race was a good race for him. He was more keen in the race, from start to finish. It did good for his confidence. Hopefully we can build a little more momentum here, and get him in the right groove.”
Casse also will field Like the King and Who’s the Star in the Durham Cup.
Like the King became a stakes winner in Turfway Park’s Jeff Ruby Steaks last year prior to running 12th in the Kentucky Derby for his former conditioner Wesley Ward.
The colt will be making his first start on the Tapeta surface after finishing a good third in the Niagara, which was won by 13-1 stablemate Who’s the Star.
Rounding out the field will be locally based Riptide Rock and Hombre plus the longshot shipper Irwin.
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Like the King – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
2 – Irwin – Antonio Gallardo – Philip Antonacci
3 – War Bomber – Sahin Civaci – Norm McKnight
4 – Frosted Over – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
5 – Artie’s Storm – David Moran – Paul Buttigieg
6 – Riptide Rock – Justin Stein – Sid Attard
7 – Hombre – Declan Carroll – Roger Attfield
8 – Special Forces – Luis Contreras – Kevin Attard
9 – Who’s the Star – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
Bill Tallon, for Woodbine Communications
Bound for Nowhere returning to Woodbine for Nearctic
TORONTO, October 6, 2022 – Bound for Nowhere, a well-travelled 8-year-old, owned and trained by Wesley Ward, shipped in from Kentucky this July to take down the Grade 2 Highlander Handicap over 6 furlongs of Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
On Saturday, the four-time stakes winner will be looking to add to his laurels when he faces eight rivals in the Grade 2 $250,000 Nearctic over the same layout.
“This has been his next goal since he won his last race up there,” said Ward. “I think he ran a phenomenal race and I’m really excited to get him back going again. And I didn’t want to run into my own horse, Golden Pal, down here at Keeneland.”
Golden Pal, a 4-year-old colt who will be favoured in Saturday’s Woodford, and provided all remains well, will be seeking a repeat there in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, has a much higher profile than Bound for Nowhere.
But Bound for Nowhere sports some serious credentials of his own, with four career stakes victories in North America and a Group 1 placing to show for his four trips to face elite company across the pond.
Despite his rather advanced age, the Kentucky-bred has made just 19 career starts.
“I’ve owned him since he was a yearling,” said Ward. “I can choose where I want to run him, and I’m very patient with him.”
Kazushi Kimura, Woodbine’s leading rider, has picked up the mount on Bound for Nowhere.
Silent Poet, a 7-year-old gelding trained by Nick Gonzalez, is the only Grade 1 winner in the Nearctic lineup, having captured the Highlander (when it carried that designation) last August.
Although Silent Poet is winless in five starts this year, Gonzalez believes the Stronach Stable homebred will make his presence felt in the Nearctic.
“The cool down in the weather has really picked his head up,” said Gonzalez, who has sent out the Ontario-bred to win five stakes including the Nearctic’s 2020 renewal.
“He’s doing quite well; I’m really looking forward to it.”
Gonzalez, in fact, is thankful that Silent Poet will be going to the post at all after watching his stable star get knocked into the rail when finishing seventh as the odds-on choice last out in the restricted 5-furlong Vice Regent on the Inner Turf course.
“That was a nightmare,” said Gonzalez. “I was just so glad nothing happened to him. He just got turned sideways. We were unlucky that it happened, but lucky that he didn’t get injured. That was brutal.”
Regular rider Justin Stein returns aboard Silent Poet.
Fauci also will have his boosters while coming in from Saratoga off a closing third-place finish in the Lucky Coin over 5 ½ furlongs of turf.
Slated to be the first Canadian starter for New York-based trainer Phillip Antonacci, Fauci has won just two of 16 starts but has placed in seven turf stakes including a third in the Grade 2 Franklin-Simpson at Kentucky Downs late last summer.
Also shipping in for the Nearctic will be Noble Emotion and Cazadero, the first and third finishers when last starting in a Saratoga turf sprint on August 27.
Rounding out the field will be Roaring Forties, Wedgewood, Into the Sunrise and Ice Chocolat (BRZ).
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Noble Emotion – Antonio Gallardo – Horacio De Paz
2 – Ice Chocolat (BRZ) – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
3 – Wedgewood – Jason Hoyte – Mike Keogh
4 – Into the Sunrise – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
5 – Fauci – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Philip Antonacci
6 – Roaring Forties – Rafael Hernandez – Katerina Vassilieva
7 – Silent Poet – Justin Stein – Nick Gonzalez
8 – Bound for Nowhere – Kazushi Kimura – Wesley Ward
9 – Cazadero – Patrick Husbands – Brendan Walsh
Bill Tallon, for Woodbine Communications