Thinking Out Loud Captures Coronation Futurity

(from Woodbine report)
Thinking Out Loud, under Todd Kabel, held off a determined Pyramid Park in Thursday's $251,970 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine, a key event on the road to the 2006 Queen's Plate.

The 1 1/8-mile affair was to have been contested Nov. 5 but was rescheduled after high winds forced the cancellation of the Woodbine program after the third race.

In the country's top race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, Thinking Out Loud took command in mid-stretch and then held on gamely, stamping himself a key contender for next year's Queen's Plate.

The Ontario-bred colt, owned by D. Morgan Firestone and trained by David Bell, came into the race off a three-length score at 1 1/16-miles on Oct. 15.

Kabel, aboard Thinking Out Loud for the fourth time in five career starts, had the colt in an ideal stalking position through early fractions of :24.23 and :48.72.

After appearing to put away Pyramid Park, the Cup & Saucer Stakes champion, Thinking Out Loud had to fight as his rival came back. The leader held his position to score by a neck. Stretch-running Shillelagh Slew was another neck back in third.

The final time was 1:54.84 over a main track rated as "fast."

"He just fought," said Kabel, who recorded his second Coronation win, the first coming with Dixieland Diamond in 1999. "It's something he does; he makes the lead and gets to loafing on you. He thinks the race is over. You're guaranteed that he's not going to let a horse get by."

Bell, who captured the added-money affair in 1988 with Spigot and in 1996 with Love View, was equally proud of the effort of the bay, who boosted his bankroll to $209,382, courtesy of the $151,182 winner's purse.

"They (blinkers) helped him out a little bit, but I think racing has helped him (more)," offered Bell. "He's going to mature as he gets older. He's still kind of a kid learning."

Thinking Out Loud, a son of champion Regal Classic, will look to become the first horse since Norcliffe in 1975-76 to score the Futurity-Plate double.

Edenwold, sent off as the odds-on favorite, finished fourth in the field of 11. Lahave was scratched.

Thinking Out Loud paid $23.20, $10.20 and $7.10, combining with Pyramid Park ($16 and $10.50) for a $411.10 exacta. Shillelagh Slew ($8) rounded out a whopping $3,346.60 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)