Ablo Surprises in Coronation Futurity

(from Woodbine report)
Ablo, a 19-1 shot guided by Gerry Olguin, captured Saturday's $250,000 Coronation Futurity for 2-year-old Canadian-breds at Woodbine, a key event on the road to the 2005 Queen's Plate.

Ablo led a procession of outsiders across the wire in Woodbine's key 2-year-old event. The bay won by 1 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:55.24 for the nine furlongs over a main track rated as "fast."

Olguin, a 16-year veteran aboard Ablo for the first time, had the Ontario bred on the engine early, just outside of the Joe Pesci-owned Leo Getz, through early fractions of :23.58 and :48.29.

"He was off the bridle really nicely and really comfortable and when I asked him at the head of the lane, he responded very well."

Trainer Roger Attfield, who picked up his third Coronation Futurity crown in the 101st running of the added-money affair, was equally thrilled with the effort of the quirky colt who boosted his bankroll to $191,040, courtesy of the $150,000 winner's purse.

"He is an inquisitive type, he looks around and messes around," said Attfield, who co-owns the winner with Michael Canino and Bill Werner. "With two-year-olds, they're telling you what to do and what not to do. This horse has shown me a lot of ability, but he's had sore shins most of the year."

Ablo, a son of Lite the Fuse, will look to become the first horse since Norcliffe to win the Futurity-Plate double, a feat the legendary horse achieved in winning the 1975 Coronation Futurity and 1976 Queen's Plate. It was Attfield who conditioned Norcliffe through his high-profile run to glory.

"I'm going to take (Ablo) down to Florida next week and give him some time off," offered Attfield. "I'll bring him back at the beginning of the year and aim him for Keeneland and then to (Woodbine)."

Slew's Saga, sent off as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite, finished sixth in the field of seven. Leo Getz, a maiden, was seventh.

Ablo paid $40.50, $16.40 and $12.30 across the board, combining with 20-1 Nikey Missile ($20.40 and $12) for a $454.40 exacta. Feather Bed Lane ($8.70), at 11-1, rounded out a whopping $2,530.40 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)