Leonnatus Anteas Earns Coronation Futurity Crown

(from Woodbine report)
Favored Leonnatus Anteas kept his record unblemished, taking Sunday's (U.S.)$261,014 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine, a key event on the road to the 2007 Queen's Plate.

In the country's top race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, 19-10 Leonnatus Anteas, now 3-for-3, took command mid-stretch and then held on gamely for a 1 1/2-length win under Jono Jones.

The Ontario-bred colt, owned by his breeders Knob Hill Stable and The Estate of Steve Stavro, came into the 1 1/8-mile feature off a head score in his career bow, the five-furlong Vandal Stakes, on Aug. 13. Most recently, Leonnatus Anteas posted a 2 ¾-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Cup & Saucer, on the Woodbine turf Oct. 15 for trainer Kevin Attard.

Jones had Leonnatus Anteas, who could be in line for Canada's top 2-year-old male Sovereign Award, in an ideal outside stalking position through early fractions of :23.71 and :48.56.

After collaring pacesetting Jiggs Coz just after the final turn, the winning son of Stormy Atlantic  held off a late run from Eugene Melnyk's Marchfield. Jiggs Coz was a half-length back in third.

The final time was 1:55.97 over the all-weather track.

"He's a beautiful horse," praised Jones. "You can do whatever you want with him. He does everything so professionally. It's amazing, really."

It was the second Coronation Futurity win for Jones (A Bit O'Gold, 2003) and first for both Attard and Knob Hill Stable.

"He's a very intelligent horse," said Attard, of the chestnut, who now owns wins on Woodbine's inner dirt, Polytrack main track and the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. "Right from the get-go, he was smart about everything and handled things well. For a colt, his head is on really straight. He's mature for his age."

Leonnatus Anteas, who earned (U.S.)$155,121 for the victory, will look to become the first horse since Norcliffe to score the Futurity-Plate double in 1975-76.

Leonnatus Anteas paid $5.80, $4.20 and $3.30, combining with Marchfield ($3.80, $3.80) for a $27.20 exacta. Jiggs Coz ($6.20) rounded out a $193.90 trifecta.

Thompson Lake finished fourth, followed by Golani, Seaside Links, Mike Fox, Cobrador, Money Player, Carysfort Light, Fire Rock and Maccabi.

(Chart, Equibase)