Wake At Noon was at his trademark best on Sunday, but his trainer thinks he can be even better.
After Wake At Noon, one of Canada's elite sprinters, bested four rivals in the $160,800 Highlander Stakes (gr. III) at Woodbine, conditioner Abraham Katryan was full of praise for the son of Cure The Blues.
"It was no shock to see the way he ran today, but I think he can be even better than he showed," said Katryan, who picked up stakes score number six on the season. "He's the pride and joy of the barn and he gets better every day."
Rider Emile Ramsammy resisted an early battle for the lead in the six-furlong run over a fast main track, as the trio of Davids Expectation, Krz Ruckus and Mr. Epperson dueled for the top spot. Early pace honors went to Davids Expectation, who led the five-horse field to an opening quarter-mile of :22.37.
Although Ramsammy, who earned his 10th added-money win of 2002, kept Wake At Noon rated just back of the front-leading pack, it was hardly an ideal trip. He had to take the 5-year-old chestnut four-wide through a half-mile in :45.02, as the lifetime winner of 16 powered to the front at the head of the stretch.
Mutuel favorite Wake At Noon then held off a late-charging Cheap Talk (3-1) to cross the finish line one length ahead in a time of 1:09.72.
Krz Ruckus held on to third place.
"He's just awesome right now and he just gets better with age," praised Ramsammy, who has paired with the Ontario-bred to win five times this year. "He's just a terrific athlete."
In victory, Wake At Noon earned $96,480 for owner Bruno Schickedanz. In all, the winner of six races in 2002, has $1,245,696 in lifetime earnings.
He paid $3.80 and $2.50 to win and place (no show wagering), combining with Cheap Talk ($3.10) for a $9.30 exacta.