Ikerrin Road wins the Kennedy Road Stakes at Woodbine

Ikerrin Road wins the Kennedy Road Stakes at Woodbine

Michael Burns

Ikerrin Road Takes Inside Route in Kennedy Stakes

Iffraaj gelding held off Holding Gold to prevail by a length.

A runner-up in last year's Kennedy Road Stakes (G2), Ikerrin Road blazed a path to victory in the 2018 edition contested on Nov. 24 at Woodbine.

Jockey Ademar Santos celebrated his first stakes victory after guiding Ikerrin Road to a speedy score in the $175,000 six-furlong feature, clocked in 1:08.42. Vito Armata trains the 5-year-old gelding for Alpine Stable Ltd.

Sent off at odds of 6-1 after winning the stakes prep just over 2 1/2 weeks ago, Ikerrin Road left from the inside post and secured a stalking position behind pacesetting Yorkton, through opening fractions of :22.63 and :44.94. The son of Iffraaj then shot through the inside path to overtake the 3-5 favorite down the stretch and prevailed by a length. Holding Gold came through along the rail to secure the runner-up honors, while early trailer Call Me Wally ran on late widest of all to edge out Yorkton for third.

"He didn't break sharp, but the plan was to kind of sit off a little bit. But nobody wanted to go so everybody sat back so I just decided to go a little closer with him and get position," said Santos. "It was a little tight down the bend, but I had to shoot for the hole because if I was to stop and go out, I'd never win. He's just a classy horse."

Ikerrin Road was claimed for $32,000 when making a successful Woodbine debut in May 2017 and went on to win the Bold Venture Stakes (G3) last year. He is now 11-for-30 lifetime with career earnings of $419,173.

"Last year we thought when he finished second to Pink Lloyd, he's going to come back next year, but it doesn't work that way," said Armata, noting the bay gelding has overcome sickness to return to top form this fall. "The horse is lucky to be here. It's coming true. We gave him lots of time and there he is."

Ikerrin Road was bred in Ireland by Gerard Kerin out of the Fantastic Light mare Fantastic Spring, and improved his record to 11-3-3 from 30 starts for earnings of $419,173.

Video: Kennedy Road S. (G2)