Are You Serious made his first added-money appearance a winning one, taking Saturday's $142,125 Kennedy Road Stakes at Woodbine.Taking on nine rivals, including some of the more notable Toronto oval sprinters including High Blitz and Sophia's Prince, Are You Serious, a bay son of You And I under Corey Fraser, rallied from off the pace to take a one-length win in the six-furlong main track feature. The 3-year-old gelding won his third consecutive race and fourth in past five starts for conditioner and co-owner Robert Tiller, finding his best stride after being blocked at the top of the stretch. He crossed the wire in a sharp 1:09 2/5 over a fast main track. Fraser, a finalist for the 2005 Top Apprentice Sovereign and Are You Serious, a five-time winner from seven starts this season, watched Bishop Court Hill and My Cousin Matt slug it out for the early lead, the duo blazing an opening quarter-mile clip in :22.After the pacesetters scorched a half-mile in :44, Are You Serious, tucked neatly along the rail in fifth, was angled outside by Fraser and took command 70 yards from the wire for the biggest win in the Ontario-bred's career to date. "He's been an honest horse," said Fraser, who will ride in Australia over the winter. "I've liked him all along. He does everything right. He kicks in as much as he can when he runs.""I wasn't expecting this today," said Tiller, who saddled his fifth added-money winner of 2005. "It was a test for him, but he sure passed it. It's a wonderful Christmas present."In victory, Are You Serious earned $84,075 for Tiller and Frank DiGiulio, pushing his career earnings to $251,053.
Are You Serious paid $23.50, $9.60, and $6.70. There was a dead-heat for second between Bishop Court Hill ($4.30, $4.40) and Gangster ($5.80, $5.70). High Blitz, the 8-5 favorite in the field of 10, finished fourth and second choice Sophia's Prince was sixth.(Chart, Equibase)