True Metropolitan entered 2007 hard-pressed to repeat the successful campaign he had a year ago, when the Proud and True gelding took home Champion Older Horse of the Year honors in Canada by winning seven stakes events.
But on Nov. 17 the 5-year-old Florida-bred continued to show that he has been every bit as good this year, as he racked up yet another victory in the $150,000 Autumn Stakes (Can-III) (VIDEO), holding off Leonnatus Anteas by a half-length on the Woodbine Polytrack.
It was True Metropolitan’s seventh win of 2007 and his sixth stakes triumph. Trained by Terry Jordan, he captured the Autumn for the second straight time while setting the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack track record in 1:42.22.
Usually on the lead, True Metropolitan decided to stalk the pace under James McAleney, who was riding for the first time. They stayed close to pacesetter Fuhrever Dancing, who set opening fractions of :23.81, :47.24 and 1:11.73.
Fuhever Dancing began to tire around the final turn and True Metropolitan went three-wide for the lead. He opened up at the top of the stretch and the only rival within striking distance was Leonnatus Anteas, who was quickly gaining ground, nearly looking the leader in the eye by mid-stretch.
The pair dueled through the final sixteenth, with Jono Jones and Leonnatus Anteas seemingly poised to overtake True Metropolitan on the outside. But True Metropolitan was game, holding off his rival to the end. Gouldings Green was another 1 ¾-lengths in back of Leonnatus Anteas for third.
“I know I was on a classy horse today,” McAleney said. “We were setting a quick pace and as quick as (Fuhrever Dancing) was going, it was nice for us.”
The third betting choice, True Metropolitan paid $11.30 to win. The exacta (5-6) was worth $56.30. The trifecta (5-6-2) returned $292.90.
Entering the Autumn, True Metropolitan had won three of his last four starts, the lone defeat coming in his most recent effort, when he was beaten a neck in the Oct. 14 Premier Handicap (Can-III) at Hastings Park, an event that he won in 2006.
Three stakes victories proceeded the Premier, as did a trip to the winner’s circle in the July 1 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine. True Metropolitan could now be in line for another Sovereign Award for owner Bob Cheema.
“I hope so for Mr. Cheema,” said Jordan. “That would really be nice. He (True Metropolitan) enjoys what he does and he does it well.”
Out of the Green Forest mare Forest Dunes, True Metropolitan has won 16 of 33 career starts for and has earned more than $850,000. He was bred by Frank Bertolino.
Betting favorite Eccentric had to be vanned off after finishing last.