Maiden Strike Oil, the least-fancied of three Mark Casse-trained 2-year-olds in the $252,326 Coronation Futurity, took the overland route to register a 14-1 surprise at Woodbine Nov. 7.
With Luis Contreras aboard, the Ontario-bred son of Forest Wildcat collected his first win in style by three-quarters of a length for owner John C. Oxley. Circling the field nine wide on the turn for home, Strike Oil completed the 1 1/8-mile Polytrack test for Canadian-bred foals in 1:52.10.
Charlie's the Man, ridden by Jono Jones, finished second by two lengths over Enduring Star and Eurico Da Silva. Good Better Best, the 8-5 favorite in the field of 11 juveniles, finished seventh.
Strike Oil entered the Coronation Futurity off a pair of fifth-place finishes over the Woodbine turf in his only prior starts. In both events, he finished less than three lengths behind the winner.
He was dead last after six furlongs as Say No More and Ojibway Signal tussled on the front end through quarter-mile fractions of :24.20, :49.222 and 1:14.40.
"He lugged in a little bit. It was a little bit my fault because I didn't shift my weight," Contreras said. "He's still learning."
Casse also saddled Enduring Star and Withdrawal, who finished last.
Bred by Windfields Farm, Strike Oil is out of the Silver Deputy mare Acadia. A $190,000 Ocala purchase in March, the bay colt earned $149,955 for the victory.
Sent off as the sixth choice, Strike Oil returned $30.70, $10.30 and $6.30, combining with Charlie's the Man ($4.80, $3.80) for a $144 exacta. Enduring Star ($6) rounded out a trifecta worth $1,056.10. A $1 superfecta with 45-1 Ojibway Signal fourth returned $10,884.60.
Wonder Phil, Charlie Bull, Good Better Best, Orocomo, Celtic Conviction, Say No More, and Withdrawal completed the order.