Dan the Tin Man, game winner of the Jacques Cartier Stakes on opening weekend of the 2014 Woodbine season, returns to the Toronto track May 11 as the 125-pound highweight in the $150,000 Vigil Stakes (Can-III).
The 4-year-old gelding posted a 9-1 upset in the six-furlong Cartier April 13, angling out on the Polytrack after being blocked in upper stretch to rally for a neck victory for jockey David Garcia.
In the exiting finish, Victory Exchange was second by a head over Really Sharp. Both are back for another crack at Dan the Tin Man, who picks up four pounds off his Cartier victory. Garcia has the mount once again and they will break from the rail.
The Vigil, which drew a field of nine older horses, is the eighth race on the Mother's Day program Sunday and is set for a 4:44 EDT scheduled post.
A son of Songandaprayer, Dan the Tin Man is trained by Ricky Griffith for Debmar Stables. The Florida-bred dark bay won last spring's listed Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine, which he followed with a victory in the listed Tom Ridge at Preque Isle Downs last May. In his only other start this year, Dan the Tin Man ran third in a Feb. 28 allowance/optional claiming race at one mile at Tampa Bay Downs.
Late-running Victory Exchange, second in his stakes debut last time for trainer Josie Carroll, and Really Sharp, who had the lead at mid-stretch of the Cartier and could not hold on for trainer Ian Black, both figure to be tough right back.
Occasional View returns to Canada off a one-length victory in the Commonwealth Stakes (gr. III) on the Keeneland Polytrack April 12. It was his first victory in four starts since he was claimed for $100,000 by Ken McPeek on behalf of owner Robert B. Trussell. The 6-year-old Silver Deputy gelding previously raced for his breeder, George Strawbridge.
In his first start for his new connections, Occasional View missed by a neck in Woodbine's 1 1/16-mile Autumn Stakes (Can-II) Nov. 15 after opening a four-length advantage in the stretch. Omar Moreno, who rode Occasional View in the Autumn, retains the mount from post 8.
Gary Barber's multiple graded stakes winner Delegation makes his first start since finishing sixth as a 3-10 favorite in last October's Durham Cup (Can-III) for trainer Mark Casse. The 5-year-old son of Speightstown won last summer's Dominion Day (Can-III) at Woodbine and also took the Durham Cup in 2012.
Casse, who won last year's Vigil with Laugh Track for Barber and WinStar Farm, also entered 2013 Plate Trial winner Dynamic Sky , third in the Queen's Plate after a brief appearance on the American Triple Crown trail. The Sky Mesa colt makes his second start of the year for owner John Oxley.
Also coming back off a layoff is Ultimate Destiny, winner of Woodbine's Sir Barton Stakes in his most recent outing Dec. 4 for trainer/owner Alec Fehr. Like Dan the Tin Man, the 5-year-old gelding by Dance to Destiny has been assigned 125 pounds.
Jim and Susan Hill's Go Blue Or Go Home, equally at home on turf or Polytrack, won the off-the-turf Highlander Stakes (Can-III) last summer at Woodbine. The 5-year-old Bluegrass Cat horse ran fifth in his seasonal debut in the Shakertown (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland turf April 12 for trainer Reade Baker, who won the Vigil in 2007 and 2008 with Judiths Wild Rush.
Jockey Jesse Campbell will guide the bay gelding without a whip. Baker, who also entered Bear No Joke, will take blinkers off Go Blue Or Go Home as well.
Bear Stables' Bear No Joke makes his first appearance since winning the Kennedy Road Stakes (Can-II) in a 17-1 surprise Nov. 30 at Woodbine.
$150,000 Vigil Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:44 p.m.), 4 & Up, 7 furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Dan the Tin Man (FL), D Garcia, 125, R Griffith
2. Victory Exchange (ON), L Contreras, 116, J Carroll
3. Bear No Joke (ON), E Wilson, 122, R Baker
4. Really Sharp (KY), S R Bahen, 116, I Black
5. Dynamic Sky (ON), J Stein, 120, M E Casse
6. Delegation (KY), P Husbands, 120, M E Casse
7. Ultimate Destiny (ON), E R Da Silva, 125, A Fehr
8. Occasional View (ON), O Moreno, 120, K G McPeek
9. Go Blue Or Go Home (VA), J M Campbell, 122, R Baker
No Whip/Blinkers Off: Go Blue Or Go Home