After a disappointing fourth-place finish in his seasonal debut, Canada's 2002 Horse of the Year Wake At Noon came alive in Saturday's $164,000 Vigil Stakes (Can-III) with a 3 1/4-length win.After the poor performance in the opening day Briartic Stakes, trainer Abraham Katryan decided to tinker a little bit. Katryan's stable star was outfitted with a new bridle and close-up blinkers. The goal was to put a little more speed into the 6-year-old and to win the weekend event.Both of Katryan's goals were met as Wake At Noon left quickly from the gate, gained the early lead, and never looked back, winning his second consecutive Vigil Stakes. With jockey Emile Ramsammy in the irons, the Ontario-bred was actually involved in an early four-wide tussle with Forever Grand, Krz Ruckus and Davids Expectation through a first quarter mile in :22.15. But it did not take long for the son of Cure the Blues to gain the lead, and eventually pull away to win by 3 ¼ lengths over late charging rivals Shaws Creek and Cheap Talk.The time of the seven furlongs race was 1:23.25 over a main track rated fast."He's a champion and he has a lot to live up to," said Ramsammy. "Last time he ran five-eighths of a mile and he seemed to lose his early sting going that short. Definitely the equipment adjustment seemed to make a difference. It's really an honor to ride a nice horse like this."According to his conditioner, a little planning and a few small adjustments made all the difference."I had to skip the Jacques Cartier (April 11) to get him to this race, because he wasn't tight in his first race," said Katryan. "We did a few different things, we changed his equipment and it paid off today."
Katryan also indicated that the Bruno Schickedanz-owned runner could now face a new task. He will be stretched out to try his hand at distance racing. Wake At Noon's last race around two turns was a fifth place finish in the 2000 Queen's Plate.In 38 career starts, Wake At Noon has 17 wins, including 11 stakes scores, and $1,366,121 in lifetime earnings.Wake At Noon returned $5.40, $3.40, $2.60 combining with Shaws Creek ($13.60, $5.30) for a $102.20 exacta. Cheap Talk ($3.40) completed the $390.60 trifecta.(Chart, Equibase)