Kara's Orientation wins the Sky Classic Stakes

Kara's Orientation wins the Sky Classic Stakes

Michael Burns

Kara's Orientation Steals Show in Sky Classic

Facing just four rivals in Sky Classic, he opens up 17 1/2-length lead and holds on.

Front-running Kara's Orientation teamed with jockey Emile Ramsammy to execute a perfect theft of the $252,675 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) (VIDEO) on a damp Woodbine course Aug. 21.

Max Berketa and Pinnacle Racing's Kara's Orientation opened up a huge advantage over his four rivals on the backstretch at odds of 7-1 and was uncatchable in the lane, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over Smart Bid under steady handling.

"He was a little aggressive, a little strong with me in post parade,” Ramsammy said. “We had a hard time with him, but then we finally got him settled in and it worked out well.”

Steven Chircop trains the winning 4-year-old son of Orientate out of the Saros mare Crissy Aya. The dark bay/brown colt was bred in Kentucky by Stewart L. Armstrong.

Kara's Orientation completed the 1 1/4-mile race in 2:04.87 over a turf course rated "good." He led by as many a 17 1/2 lengths while posting reserved quarter-mile fractions of :25.78, :48.54, and 1:12.69. The lead dwindled to eight lengths at the quarter pole as Smart Bid and Hailstone made a vain attempt to draw closer. Smart Bid, ridden by Edgar Prado, got to within four lengths at mid-stretch but ran out of time while finishing all-out.

“I was very concerned early on,” Chircop said. “I wanted him in front by about three or four lengths in a perfect world. To see him open up like that, you’re kind of wondering, ‘When’s he going to stop?’ But the horse has been doing amazing.”

Smart Bid held second by a head over Hailstone, with Jesse Campbell aboard. Grassy, the 13-10 favorite, finished fourth, with Musketier  trailing.

Kara's Orientation came into the race off a three-length win over a first-level allowance field at nine furlongs on the Woodbine turf July 23. Second in both the Toronto Cup at Woodbine and Northlands Park's Canadian Derby (Can-III) in 2010, he won for the third time in five races in 2011.

He earned $151,605 for the Sky Classic victory, his sixth lifetime triumph in 21 starts. He has banked $383,086.

Sent off as the second-longest shot in the small field, Kara's Orientation carried 117 pounds and paid $16.80, $6.50, and $4.10. Smart Bid, making his Woodbine turf debut for trainer Graham Motion, returned $3.60 and $3.30 as the 123-pound co-high weight with Musketier. The exacta was worth $64.80. Hailstone paid $5.30 to show.

Fifty Proof, expected to be among the favorites, was scratched by the Woodbine stewards.