TORONTO, November 3, 2022 – Twin City, trained and co-owned by Stuart Simon, will take aim at top prize in the $250,000 Coronation Futurity, Sunday at Woodbine.
The 1 1/8-mile Tapeta event for Canadian-foaled 2-year-olds is a significant race on the road to the 164th running of the Queen’s Plate, the first jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The Grade 2 $175,000 Autumn Stakes, for 3-year-olds and up, is also part of the 10-race card.
Simon, in search of his first Futurity triumph, will send out Twin City, a bay son of Klimt-Minnie Apple Is. The bay, bred by Frank Di Giulio Jr., has one win and three seconds in four starts.
The victory came in his most recent outing, a maiden special weight event at 1 1/16 miles over the Woodbine Tapeta. Under regular rider Gary Boulanger, Twin City tracked the pace, before he took the lead and held on to win by a neck in 1:45.50.
“He can be on or off the lead, a long way back, come between horses or go around… you can do whatever you want to do with him,” said Simon. “Whatever the situation dictates, he’s always up for the challenge. Last time, there was a horse going fast on the lead, and he tracked him and then took over the lead and shook off a couple of on-comers.”
Prior to the maiden-breaking score, the gelding finished second in his debut, a 5 ½-panel sprint on the Toronto oval main track on July 17.
On August 28, Twin City loaded into the gate for the Simcoe Stakes. A furious rally from well back resulted in a second-place finish, just a neck behind the winner. One race later, on September 18 in a 1 mile and 70-yard race on the Tapeta, he posted his third consecutive runner-up finish, only a head behind the winner.
Simon, who co-owns with Brent, Russel and Roy McLellan, prefers to see the glass as half full when it comes to the narrow losses.
“He’s just really genuine and really smart,” praised the multiple graded stakes winning conditioner who has 854 career wins. “He’s been a really nice, consistent horse. We’ve been very happy with all of his starts. Last time, it was nice to see him get rewarded. He does everything right.”
Twin City is coming to the final race of his first-year campaign in good order.
“He’s doing really well. Win, lose or draw, this is it for him. We’re going to give a nice couple of months off in Ocala. He’s shown no effects running four times as a 2-year-old. He’s very sound, very happy and seems to be doing really well. He deserves that nice vacation in Florida and then we’ll start training for what could be an exciting and promising 3-year-old season.”
Other Coronation Futurity starters include trainer Kevin Attard’s fivesome of Dream Jereem, Lookinassah, Philip My Dear, Renegade Serenade, and Velocitor. Dual hall of fame trainer Mark Casse sends out the trio of Battle Strike, Gran Spirited, and Stayhonor Goodside. Conditioner Michael De Paulo will saddle Cool Kiss and J’adoro.
Ayrshire Lad won the first running of the Coronation Futurity in 1902. The late Avelino Gomez won four straight (1964-67) editions of the race, a feat duplicated by Sandy Hawley (1973-76). The last horse to notch the Futurity-Plate double was Norcliffe in 1975-76.
Eleven horses, including Treason, will load into the gate for the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes, at 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta.
Owned by LNJ Foxwoods and MSK Racing Ventures, LLC, the 4-year-old son of Constitution-Cougarstown heads into the 1 1/16-mile race off a monster effort at Woodbine on September 4.
Sent off at 9-5 in the 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race, Treason was 4 ½ lengths in front after the first quarter, nine on top at the stretch call and 16 ½ ahead of his nearest rival at the wire. The final time over the Tapeta was 1:41.51.
“We liked him, he had been training well and we felt he would take to synthetic being a Constitution,” said Jaime Roth, of LNJ Foxwoods. “But no one can ever imagine that kind of performance. I was a little nervous when he broke because it seemed like he might be running off a little bit, but when he got into that beautiful stride, it was great to see. We were expecting a great effort, but definitely not like that.”
Trained by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Josie Carroll, the bay, bred in Kentucky by Ramspring Farm, won at first asking last June in a mile turf race at Belmont, a 25-1 upset over firm ground.
Treason was then eighth, fifth and fifth again in his next three starts, his final start of the 2021 campaign coming on September 23.
He marked his return to racing, nearly one year later, with the eye-catching score six weeks ago at Woodbine.
“We had gelded him and then gave him time before we sent him up to Josie,” said Roth. “We really felt that having him gelded would be beneficial as it is in a lot of cases. He was a little tough to handle, so we knew that would be huge.”
Now, Treason, who worked 4 furlongs, breezing, in :51.80 over the Tapeta on October 31, will attempt to carry that momentum into his first stakes engagement, one Roth believes he is ready for.
“I got a pretty big response from Canadian racing after that win,” recalled Roth. “I got a lot of phone calls from the people I care about. I don’t think he necessarily has to run back to that performance. You never know, especially after running such a huge race. I think Josie did a great job with spacing of the races. I would hope that he keeps his mind focused and runs well again, something in line with what he did last time. He doesn’t have to win by 20. I just want to see a horse that comes off that win not too tense and does his job. I think he will. He’s been training well. Definitely excited to see him run.”
Roth and her family will have another reason to cheer this weekend.
Olympiad, a son of Speightstown, will take on seven rivals, including much-heralded Flightline, in the Grade 1 $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, Saturday at Keeneland.
The 4-year-old bay colt has won eight of 12 career starts, including five graded stakes victories, highlighted by the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Saratoga. He’s won from seven furlongs to 1 ¼ miles, earning more than $2 million to date.
Bred by Emory Hamilton and sold for $700,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2019, Olympiad is owned by Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable and LNJ Foxwoods and trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott.
Olympiad has won six of seven starts this year, including the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 3 at Saratoga.
He’ll take on a star-stacked field, including unbeaten 3-5 morning line choice Flightline.
“Olympiad got there Sunday, and it was a smooth trip,” said Roth. “Hopefully, he runs a big race. When I got to see his training saddle cloth for the first time – not that I don’t appreciate what he’s done this year – it was a moment where you said, ‘Wow… we’re in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.’ I love my horse. He’s six for seven this year and there was that weird, funky effort [fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney in August] on a hot day. Other than that, he’s been perfect. I know who we have to beat, but we’ll give it our all.”
First post time is 1:20 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
$250,000 CORONATION FUTURITY
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Dream Jereem – Slade Jones – Kevin Attard
2 – Twin City – Gary Boulanger – Stuart Simon
3 – Stayhonor Goodside – Eswan Flores – Mark Casse
4 – J’adoro – Leo Salles – Michael De Paulo
5 – Renegade Serenade – Jose Campos – Kevin Attard
6 – Cool Kiss – Sahin Civaci – Michael De Paulo
7 – Twowaycrossing – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Roger Attfield
8 – Lookinassah – Luis Contreras – Kevin Attard
9 – Sammy Stone – Patrick Husbands – Catherine Day Phillips
10 – Gran Spirited – Declan Carroll – Mark Casse
11 – Velocitor – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
12 – Battle Strike – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
13 – Philip My Dear – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard
14 – Opposites Attract – David Moran – Michael Trombetta
(AE) 15 – Greystone – David Moran – Breeda Hayes
$175,000 GRADE 2 AUTUMN
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Harlan Estate – Leo Salles – Kevin Attard
2 – Novol Sol (BRZ) – Patrick Husbands – Saffie Joseph Jr.
3 – War Bomber (IRE) – Sahin Civaci – Norm McKnight
4 – Mighty Heart – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
5 – Frosted Over – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
6 – Who’s the Star – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
7 – Riptide Rock – Slade Jones – Sid Attard
8 – Treason – Justin Stein – Josie Carroll
9 – Money Printer – Rafael Hernandez – Larry Attard
10 – Artie’s Storm – David Moran – Paul Buttigieg
11 – Candy Overload – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms