Wilson Guides Classic Stamp to Bell Canadian Win

(from Woodbine report)
Woodbine's leading rider, Emma-Jayne Wilson, celebrated the first stakes victory of her career, guiding 7-1 shot Classic Stamp to a successful title defense in the 1 1/8-mile $316,536 Bell Canadian Stakes (Can-II) for fillies and mares.

The 1 ¼-length victory in 1:47.25 was also the first stakes triumph for Darwin Banach, who began training for Classic Stamp's owner William Sorokolit at the beginning of the season.

The Regal Classic mare won for the first time in six starts this season and enjoyed her first victory since capturing last year's edition of this turf event.

Patrick Husbands, who guided Classic Stamp to victory a year ago, rallied strongly out in the middle of the 'soft' E.P. Taylor Turf Course with Ambitious Cat, who had trailed the nine-horse field through opening fractions in :23.21 and :48.25.

As Husbands angled out and took the high road, Wilson had already taken the low road, sending Classic Stamp through at the rail. The maneuver provided Classic Stamp with an insurmountable advantage as she stayed on determinedly to defeat Ambitious Cat and third-place finisher Mona Rose.

"As we came around the turn, I was worried about the speed backing up on us," said the apprentice Wilson, who kept Classic Stamp inside, covered up in fifth during the early stages of the race.

"She's a big strong, powerful filly. I knew if there was a hole and I pointed her in the right direction, she'd get us there."

For Wilson, the win was extra special because of how closely she worked with the 5-year-old homebred when she was in the barn of trainer Cliff Hopmans, one of many trainers Wilson credits with her rise to success within the Woodbine jockey colony.

"I've known this filly for a long time. I have a good rapport with her. She's just an amazing kid."

Banach sayid the Ontario-bred is the best horse he's ever trained.

"She's a pleasure to train," says Banach. "We're going to aim for the E.P Taylor (Oct. 23). It's here and she loves this course."

Classic Stamp, with career earnings of $965,862, is the first ever two-time winner of the Canadian Stakes.

Like last year, Classic Stamp returned handsome payoffs – $17.60, $7.70 and $5.10. Ambitious Cat ($7.30, $3.70) capped an exacta of $125.10. Mona Rose finished third ($6.20) completing a $1,143.80 trifecta.

Shaconage, the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine, finished last.

(Chart, Equibase)