True Metropolitan Hits Jackpot at Woodbine

(from Woodbine report)
British Columbia invader True Metropolitan proved his mettle Saturday when he rolled to a dominating four-length victory in the $150,400 Woodbine Slots Cup (Can-III) at the Toronto oval.

With his fifth straight stakes victory, this one over a strong field, few would now doubt that Bob Cheema's 4-year-old was the country's best older horse in 2006. He was sent off at odds of nearly 5-1 Saturday.

Woodbine jockey Todd Kabel rode True Metropolitan for Hastings Park-based trainer Terry Jordan. Edenwold ran second, with Eccentric third, beaten five lengths. The running time was a solid 1:44.88 for 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack.

True Metropolitan sat mid-pack early through splits of :24.13 and :47.09 set by 6-5 favorite Barracuda Boy and Just Rushing. Heading into the turn, Kabel asked the son of Proud and True for a burst and he responded with a big move on the outside to take control by the quarter pole.

Discussion of the Sovereign Awards, which honor Canada's best in Thoroughbred racing, came up quickly after the race.

"He beat the best horses, and he did it with authority," Kabel said of True Metropolitan, who beat his key older horse Sovereign rivals in the race. "He's for real. I think the voters are really going to have a good look at this horse."

Jordan sent the Florida–bred to Woodbine to former Hastings Park conditioner Lorne Richards last month to prepare for the Woodbine Slots Cup.

"We sent him (to Woodbine) three weeks ahead of time to get him used to the climate and the track. He had never been on Polytrack." Jordan said. "He's a very versatile horse. He's just four years old and coming to himself."

Count Emma-Jayne Wilson, who rode Barracuda Boy to a sixth-place finish in the race, among the True Metropolitan believers.

"True Metropolitan is a shoo-in for the Sovereign," she said. "It's good to see a western Canadian horse come in here and run well."

The win, seventh of the season and ninth of his career, gives the dark bay lifetime earnings of $446,305.

True Metropolitan returned $11.80, $5.70, $3.80 and combined with Edenwold ($6.30, $4.50) for a $74.10 exacta. Eccentric ($3.90) rounded out the $221.20 trifecta.

Pellegrino finished fourth, followed by Just Rushing, and Barracuda Boy. Dumbledore and Get Down Wolfie were morning scratches.

(Chart, Equibase)