David Dwyer's Barilko kept his unblemished record intact with a workmanlike performance in the featured $125,000 Swynford Stakes for 2-year-olds on the all-weather track Saturday at Woodbine.
With Constant Montpellier aboard, Barilko, a Kentucky-bred son of E Dubai
, skated to the front in the seven furlong event, and while challenged at several points in the race, was never headed, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths over Bilbo, with Acoustic Shadow third. The final time was 1:24.65.
The victory, his fourth in a row, keeps Barilko at the top of the juvenile ranks in Canada in the race for year-end Sovereign Award honors.
It appears the bay gelding, named for the late Bill Barilko, who scored the winning goal in overtime for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1951 Stanley Cup playoffs, will be put away for the year.
Dwyer, who also trains the three-time stakes winner (he earlier won the Silver Deputy and Colin), said, "I think I'm going to put him away. He's done everything I've asked of him. You can only get so much lemon juice out of the lemon. It's time to give him a rest."
With today's winning pot of $75,000 (Can), Barilko, sent postward the prohibitive 2-5 choice, pushed his career bankroll to $231,180, far above his $30,000 (US) purchase price at last September's Keeneland yearling sale. He opened his juvenile campaign with an easy win in a $50,000 maiden claimer.
With two morning scratches (Full Blast and Stillistillmovin), the Swynford was reduced to eight horses. Barilko shot immediately to the front, getting the first quarter in :22.96 but was challenged first by Carysfort Light approaching the far turn, after a half in :46.03. Turning for home, Bilbo, along the rail, took dead aim at the leader, but Barilko held sway down the lane for the win.
Barilko paid $2.90, $2.50 and $2.30, combining with Bilbo ($6.30, $4) for an $11.30 (5-4) exacta. Acoustic Shadow was $4.50 to show.