De Paulo holds strong hand in both Clarendon and Shady Well 

De Paulo holds strong hand in both Clarendon and Shady Well 

TORONTO, November 29, 2023 – A pair of $150,000 2-year-old stakes, the Clarendon and Shady Well, share the spotlight as part of Saturday’s 10-race card at Woodbine.  

Set for six furlongs over the Tapeta, the Clarendon (2-year-olds) and Shady Well (2-year-old fillies), both for Ontario-bred or Ontario-sired rookies, have each drawn seven hopefuls.  

Trainer Mike De Paulo, less than 30 wins away from 1,000 for his career, is represented by Frac Dancer in the Clarendon. 

Bred and owned by Phoenix Racing, the son of Frac Daddy-Dancing On Fire debuted on October 15th at Woodbine. 

Squaring off against seven rivals in the 5 ½-furlong Tapeta race, Frac Dancer got away second before taking command and then going on to record a 2 ¼-length win at odds of 9-1. 

“He had been training well leading up to the race,” recalled De Paulo. “He put together a very nice effort in that first race. He’s a well-muscled, strong colt. We’ve been very happy with how things have gone for him so far.” 

Frac Dancer posted a series of works leading up to the Clarendon, including a four-furlong breeze in :48.20 over the Tapeta on November 25th. 

De Paulo is looking for another big performance from his rookie roan colt on Saturday. 

“He’s acting like he’s a pretty nice horse. He’s grey and so am I, so hopefully, that means something. I don’t know how far he will go – it doesn’t mean he has to just sprint – but right now, this race made the most sense. He had a nice breeze a few days ago and he is coming into the race in good order.”  

Robbie Stephenson is the groom. 

Other starters include last time out winners Competitive Touch, Cooler Man, and Gun Court.  


Ivan Dalos’ homebred Master Aragorn could give Mike De Paulo his third Shady Well score when she goes postward in Saturday’s ninth race. 

A daughter of Mastery-Aragorn Ami, Master Aragorn, like her stablemate Frac Dancer, heads into her first stakes engagement off a debut victory. 

Sent on her way at 5-1, the chestnut filly drew away in impressive fashion to notch a 1 ¼-length triumph at 5 ½ panels over the Tapeta on October 21st. 

De Paulo, who won the 2009 Shady Well with Maritime Passion and the 2015 edition with Caren, Canada’s 2016 Horse of the Year, had high praise for the curtain-raising effort crafted by Master Aragorn.

“She is a nice one too. We’re very excited about her. She looks like she can run. We weren’t surprised at how well she ran first-time out. She had trained well leading up to it and she showed up with a very nice performance. She finished very strong, which was nice to see.”

Master Aragorn has had a steady work tab leading up to the Shady Well, including a five-furlong breeze in :59.80 over the Tapeta on November 26th. 

“We are very happy with her. Hopefully, we can be happier with her again. She has shown some real ability. She can be a little hot around the barn, but so far, she has been putting her energy in the right way. We’re hoping to have a good finish to the year.”   

Owen Thompson is the groom. 

Other starters included last time out winners Kin’s Concerto, Little Teddy, and Vandoo. 

First post is 1:05 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action with HPIbet.com, bet365, and the Dark Horse Bets app.

Clarendon Stakes (Race 8) 

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer  

1 – Meko Makee – Rafel Hernandez – William Tharrenos 

2 – Competitive Touch – Luis Contreras – Sid Attard 

3 – Midnight Mascot – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse 

4 – Cooler Man – Kazushi Kimura – Nick Nosowenko 

5 – Garofoli – Jose Campos – John Ross 

6 – Frac Dancer – Sahin Civaci – Mike De Paulo 

7 – Gun Court – Amanda Vandermeersch – Cary Brooks 

Shady Well Stakes (Race 9) 

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer  

1 – Onella – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard 

2 – Little Teddy – Alexander Marti – Santino Di Paola 

3 – Kin’s Concerto – Sofia Vives – Josie Carroll 

4 – Master Aragorn – Rafael Hernandez – Mike De Paulo 

5 – Vandoo – Patrick Husbands – Kevin Attard 

6 – Shamans Girl (S) – Ryan Munger – Harold Ladouceur 

7 – Red Eleanor (S) – Jeffrey Alderson – Angus Buntain  

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms

Grace Martin
Grace Martin Communications Specialist, Woodbine Entertainment
Horse Racing - TB
About Woodbine Entertainment

Woodbine Racetrack is Canada’s home the biggest and most exciting thoroughbred races. Located in Toronto, Woodbine Racetrack typically operates thoroughbred racing from April through December. Premier races include the longest continuously ran horse race in North America, The Queen’s Plate, Breeders Cup win and you’re in races the Woodbine Mile, Summer and Natalma Stakes, along with the fan-favourite Canadian International Stakes. 

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555 Rexdale Blvd. Toronto, Ontario.