True Metropolitan Rolls Dice in Woodbine Slots Cup

(from Woodbine release)
British Columbia invader True Metropolitan will need to be at his best when he faces a quality field of seven rivals with a possible divisional championship at stake in Saturday's $150,000 Woodbine Slots Cup (Can-III) on the Toronto track's all-weather surface.

The 4-year-old son of Proud and True has won six stakes races at three different racetracks (Hastings, Northlands and Stampede Park) this season and banked $312,340. He enters the 1 1/16-mile tilt on a four stakes race winning streak, romping home in front by a combined margin of 14 ½ lengths.

The classy gelding will face a top cast of stalwarts, including Barracuda Boy, who has won five races in a row and Just Rushing, who goes for his eighth straight tally.

Trainer Lorne Richards, who has taken care of True Metropolitan since his Toronto arrival on Oct. 25, said there's no question about the race's championship quality.

"There are four or five horses who have won a stakes race in their last start – Barracuda Boy, Just Rushing, Pellegrino, Eccentric and True Metropolitan," said Richards. "It's definitely the toughest dirt race of the year."

In Richards' mind, a decisive win by True Metropolitan over the strong field would put the Florida-bred at the head of the class in the running for a Sovereign as Canada's top older horse.

"He's definitely the best in the west," continued Richards. "By rights, if this horse could win this race, he'd have a pretty strong case for a Sovereign Award."

Jockey Quincy Welch has been in the irons for all six of his wins. The top Western rider is in Toronto for the mount.

Most recently, True Metropolitan won his first Graded stakes race, the October 15 B.C. Premiers Handicap (Can-III), a 1 3/8-mile event at Vancouver's Hastings Park. The gelding stalked the pace, seized command in the stretch and was under the wire 3 ¾ lengths past Spaghetti Mouse.

Despite his numerous accolades, the Bob Cheema-owned gelding has flown under the radar. Even Richards, who started his training career in Western Canada, admits that he wasn't aware of the Terry Jordan trainee.

"I didn't know much about him. (Terry Jordan) does pretty well with his horses. I've known him for 30 years. That's the only reason I took the horse," said Richards. "Terry's a solid guy. If he's sending the horse here, it must have a shot."

$150,000 Woodbine Slots Stakes (Can-III, Race 6, 3:35 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Get Down Wolfie (KY), Richard A. Dos Ramos, 115, 15/1
2. Just Rushing (ON), Corey Fraser, 119, 7/2
3. Pellegrino (BRZ), James McAleney, 121, 8/1
4. True Metropolitan (FL), Quincy Welch, 121, 4/1
5. Eccentric (GB), David Clark, 121, 6/1
6. Edenwold (ON), Patrick Husbands, 117, 8/1
7. Dumbledore (KY), Emile Ramsammy, 115, 20/1
8. Barracuda Boy (KY), Emma-Jayne Wilson, 121, 2/1