Up With the Birds gives trainer first Coronation Futurity win
"(Pierce) had a lot of patience with this horse," the rider said. "We've been educating this horse for a long time. Malcolm took his time and today it paid off. (Up With the Birds) did today, everything he had learned in the morning already. I had a lot of confidence in this horse today."
Sent off the near 6-5 second choice, Up With the Birds paid $4.30, $2.20 and $2.10. Star Contender, the even-money favorite, was easily four lengths clear of third-place His Race to Win, also from the Pierce shedrow. Bookies Nightmare, Hesa Big Dude and Kitten Candy completed the order under the wire.
Up With the Birds broke his maiden in his second try, taking the September 29 contest by 3 1/2 lengths after stretching out to 1 1/16 miles from his initial try of six-furlongs in another Woodbine maiden event. With this one now improving his line to 3-2-0-1, the bay colt has banked $198,116.
Pierce is cautiously optimistic Up With the Birds will continue to improve with an eye to next year's Queen's Plate.
"I hope next June or July he can go a mile and a quarter, but there's a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then," the horseman smiled.
The Ontario homebred is the first registered foal out of the winning Seeking the Gold mare Song of the Lark, who is herself a daughter of Canadian champion and Grade 1 queen Wilderness Song.
That Wild Again mare had the misfortune of being born the same year as 1991 champion three-year-old filly and Canadian Horse of the Year Dance Smartly. The two competed multiple times against each other, including running one-two in the Queen's Plate against the boys, but Dance Smartly, who swept the 1991 Canadian Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup Distaff, always got the best of Wilderness Song.
The conditioner admitted to being a little nervous as the field turned for home.
"Fortunately, he found some racing room late," she said. "We were a little concerned as he came around the turn, but as soon as there was a hole, the horse just went for it."
James Street's dam, the winning Unbridled mare Alleynedale, is a half-sister to Grade 1-scoring sire Albert the Great.
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