Maritimer wins the Coronation Futurity.

Maritimer wins the Coronation Futurity.

Michael Burns

Maritimer Sails Clear in Coronation Futurity

Favorite becomes early choice for next year's Queen's Plate with 2 1/4-length win.

Favored Maritimer took the lead coming off the far turn and held off his rivals through the stretch to win the $246,263 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine by 2 1/4 lengths Nov. 6 (VIDEO).

Ten Canadian-foaled 2-year-olds took part in the 1 1/8-mile Polytrack test. The convincing win stamps Maritimer, ridden by Luis Contreras, as the early favorite for Canada's Queen's Plate next year.

Racing for Norseman Racing Stable and trainer Sid Attard, Maritimer made a powerful bid from near the rear of the pack on the final turn, weaving through traffic to challenge Hampstead Heath for the lead. Having put that rival away in the lane, the Stormy Atlantic  colt held on well as the rallying Menlo Castle attempted to make a race of it. The final time was 1:50.91.

Maritimer was sent off as the 3-1 choice, slightly better than Menlo Castle, who was also 3-1.

Maritimer began his career with a first-out maiden win in July. Jumped into stakes company, he just missed by a head in the six-furlong Vandal July 31. Switched to the turf for his next two races, Maritmer finished second to the filly Hard Not to Like in a one-mile allowance. He then finished fourth behind the victorious Finale in the Summer Stakes (gr. IIIT), also at one mile.

Howard Walton bred Maritimer, who is out of the Highland Ruckus mare Highland Mood, in Ontario.

Solo Player, a 29-1 outsider, set the early pace in the Coronation Futurity, leading 34-1 Rockinmebaby and Hampstead Heath through fractions of :24.38 and :49.25. Classic Bryce, progressing just off the rail on the turn, attacked early to contend for the lead briefly before Hampstead Heath put his head in front while covering six furlongs in 1:13.59.

Meanwhile, Maritimer, racing in seventh on the turn, made his bold move six wide to gain control in upper stretch. Hampstead Heath, ridden by David Clark, chased the winner through the lane as Menlo Castle, closing in for Patrick Husbands, moved into second just past the furlong marker. Menlo Castle could get no closer to Maritimer, however, as the winner held sway under steady urging from Contreras.

Menlo Castle settled for second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Hampstead Heath.

Maritimer earned $147,285 for his second win in five starts, and has now banked $250,425.

Under equal weights of 122 pounds, Maritimer paid $8.50, $4.40, $3.20. Stakes winner Menlo Castle, making his first start around two turns for trainer Ralph Biamonte, returned $5 and $3.60 and completed a $28.20 exacta. Hampstead Heath, who was second in the Cup & Saucer Stakes on turf last time out, paid $4 in his Polytrack debut.

Aldous Snow closed belatedly to get fourth, followed by Campitello, Quaesitor, Dead On, Classic Bryce, Rockinmebaby, and Solo Player.