It was the first stakes victory for 10-1 shot Dimension, who was bred in Great Britain and shipped to North America last fall. The 5-year-old gelding by Medician out of the Green Desert mare Palatial finished second beaten a neck in the Bold Venture Stakes (Can-III) on Polytrack in his last start.
With David Moran riding for trainer Conor Murphy, Dimension broke last from post 1 in the 12-horse field in the Play the King but quickly recovered to take the lead through an opening quarter-mile in :22.24 on a course rated firm. The 5-year-old gelding opened up a half-length lead over Excaper through a half-mile in:44.26, and gradually increased his margin over that foe the rest of the way.
Dimension led by 1 1/2 lengths after six furlongs in a sizzling 1:07.44, and held second-choice Excaper safe by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:19.89, just shy of the course record of 1:19.38 for seven furlongs on grass at Woodbine. Riding the River finished a half-length back in third and 3 1/4 lengths ahead of 2-1 favorite Go Blue Or Go Home, who had won the Highlander Stakes Presented by Pizzaville (Can-III) on Polytrack.
"His best trip in England and Europe was always seven furlongs, on a good, galloping track like (Woodbine)," said Murphy, who is based at Skylight Training Center in Kentucky and raced Dimension at Keeneland and Churchill Downs earlier this year. "He was entered in the Firecracker (gr. IIT) at Churchill in June, but it rained very heavy a couple of hours before the race so we took him out of there.
"With this race in mind, I was going to run him in an allowance over seven (furlongs) on the turf course, but I had a look at the (6 1/2-furlong) Bold Venture and there were only five runners, so we'd have a crack. He ran so well there."
"I thought there would be a little more speed," Moran said. "Conor had said to me, though, that a couple of his previous races were better from the front. So when I had him carrying me like that on the rail, I said that will do me until I get to the turn."
Dimension, bred by Cheveley Park Stud, paid $23, $9.90, and $7.10 as the fourth choice. Excaper paid $4.80 and $3.50, while Riding the River returned $4.50. The exacta paid $119.70 and the trifecta $607.70.
Dimension now has four wins and five seconds in 19 starts for earnings of $207,764. All of his victories have come on turf.