Sutherland Guides Lucky Molar to Marathon Win

Jockey Chantal Sutherland guided Lucky Molar to victory in Woodbine's $147,000 Valedictory Stakes at 1 3/4 mile Sunday.

The Valedictory, the last added-money event of the year, was another chance for the Sovereign Award nominee (as top apprentice) to demonstrate her riding ability. The 14-furlong event, the longest stakes feature of the racing season, featured 14 of Woodbine's top older horses, and is often characterized as a rider's race.

Sutherland, who had already won two races earlier on the card, had Lucky Molar rated well behind the early pace, Sutherland was intent on keeping the 7-year-old relaxed despite his eagerness around the first of three turns. At the quarter pole, as several runners' were unleashing their bids, she patiently directed the son of Wheatly Hall into striking position. Circling race favorite Parose at the head of the stretch, Lucky Molar won by a half-length over Defenman.

The time of the race was 3:03.83 over a main track rated fast.

"Down the backside 'Lucky' wanted to go," said Sutherland. "I think he thought that was the final turn (the first time around). I had a lot of horse and I was keeping my eye on Parose. 'Lucky' just kicked in and kept going."

In victory, Lucky Molar, who earlier in the year won the Seagram Cup, boosted his career earnings to $497,867 for owner Richard Englander and trainer Mike Wright Jr.

"He's been a great horse this year," said Wright. "He's an iron horse and we'll see him next year. He'll go home and rest for the winter and hopefully come back next spring."

Lucky Molar, as part of an entry with Le Beaucet, returned $14.50, $10.50, $5.70. He combined with Defenman ($13.30, $9.00) for a $140.10 exacta. Malmaison ($5.20) completed the $1,529.40 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)