Early Wisdom Registers 33-1 Shocker at Woodbine

(From track report)
It was a longshot shocker that left trainer Barb Pirie breathless.

Moments after Early Wisdom, at 33-1, romped over seven rivals in Saturday's $164,700 Col. R.S. McLaughlin Stakes (gr. III) at Woodbine, Pirie could barely find the words to sum up her feelings. But when she did, the veteran conditioner was right on the mark.

"I put him here because he's been training well and he's very mature," said Pirie, of the stunning 2 1/4-length triumph. "You can't win unless you try."

As the longest shot in the field, Early Wisdom, who had never run in an added-money event until the McLaughlin, wasn't given much.

The race was chock full of familiar names on the Ontario racing scene in 2002. Shaws Creek, winner of this year's Plate Trial, rallied to capture show honours. Queen's Plate runner-up Anglian Prince, who was forced wide for most of the race, finished sixth, while even-money favourite and Prince of Wales winner, Le Cinquieme Essai, was never a factor and finished eighth.

But the son of Whiskey Wisdom, with rider Jake Barton in the irons, showed his mettle throughout the 1 1/8-mile race, challenging early pacesetters Center and Mark One for the lead. The opening quarter-mile was cut in a :23.88 clip, as the tightly-grouped trio grappled for top spot.

After a half-mile in :48.54, Early Wisdom, who wore blinkers for the first time, clung to the rail as the Roger Attfield-trained Mark One engaged the bay gelding as the field headed for home.

"We weren't expecting to be on the lead or near it, but it worked out that way today," said Barton, who netted his fifth stakes score on the season. "Rob (jockey Landry) asked his horse (Mark One), so I asked my horse to kick on and he did."

The final time for the race was 1:52.19 over a main track rated as "fast."

The surprising win represented Pirie's first added-money victory on the campaign, one that had the Mississauga resident extremely pleased.

"Jake did a great job today," she raved. "I just told him to let the race unfold and react to whatever happened. It was a great win."

In victory, Early Wisdom earned $98,820 for owners Ken and Mike Ham. In six lifetime races, the Ontario-bred now has $149,829 in earnings to date.

He paid $69.90, $26.40 and $7.30 across the board, combining with Mark One ($8.40, $4.70) for a $699.90 exacta. Shaws Creek ($6.30) rounded out a $7,982.20 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)