Wando Upset in Woodbine's Achievement

(from track report)
Majestic Wisdom became a Queen's Plate contender by shocking the field as the longest shot on the tote board in Sunday's $161,100 Achievement Stakes at Woodbine.

Two double-digit length losses at Gulfstream Park in 2003 and odds of 21-1 suggested Majestic Wisdom wasn't going to be a factor in the Achievement, the first major race on the Road to the Queen's Plate June 22 at Woodbine.

Trainer Chantal Paquette struggled to find the right words after Majestic Wisdom pulled the upset.

"Yes," stated Paquette, who earned her first career stakes win, when asked if the dark bay would be pointed toward a run in the Queen's Plate. "I've always had a lot of confidence in the horse. He's very strong. I just hoped he would run well."

Facing formidable favorite Wando and four other rivals (Bert's Bar was a late scratch), Majestic Wisdom, with Constant Montpellier in the irons, was a reserved fourth early on, as Biddy's Lad and Shipman hooked up in a speed duel for top spot. It was Shipman, along the inside, who led the field to a quick opening quarter in :22.11.

After a half-mile in :45.40, Wando rallied menacingly on the outside of the two leaders, gaining ground as the field hit the stretch, while Montpellier urged Majestic Wisdom into contention for a challenge at the new leader.

In the end, a patient ride from Montpellier and strong late kick added up to victory for the son of Whiskey Wisdom in the six furlong event.

"I knew we had to Wando to beat," said Montpellier, aboard the Ontario-bred for the fourth time in the colt's eight lifetime starts. "I came to him (Wando) and thought I had a little bit more momentum than he did."

Majestic Wisdom prevailed by a neck over Wando in a time of 1:11.06 over a main track rated as "fast."

"He (Wando) ran a great race, but the other horse (Majestic Wisdom) is winter raced." said jockey Todd Kabel, aboard Wando for the first time. "I'm not taking anything away from either of them."

Trainer Mike Keogh was equally satisfied with the runner-up effort.

"I was very happy with it," said the conditioner, who also has the highly regarded Mobil as a Queen's Plate prospect. "I think he can develop, he just came off the farm. He just got a little tired down the lane."

Majestic Wisdom paid $45.60, $9.60 and $3.70 across the board, combining with Wando ($2.50, $2.10) for a $88.40 exacta. Biddy's Lad ($3.00) completed a $531.50 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)