Ami's Holiday came from off the pace, unleashing a powerful surge in deep stretch to win the 1 1/16-mile Grey Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine Oct. 6 by a half length as the favorite over Big Bazinga (VIDEO).
Now undefeated in two starts, Ami's Holiday, a juvenile son of Harlan's Holiday, stretched out to two turns for the first time in the Grey. He launched his career with a decisive 3 1/4-length victory in a six-furlong maiden event Sept. 6, also at Woodbine.
"Last time out he really surprised me because I didn't think he would have the speed to win the race, but he's really good—he wants to win," said jockey Luis Contreras, who piloted Ami's Holiday from the outside in a field of four.
"He showed all the signs of being a natural talent in his first time out, and in this race, he relaxed enough to make his run and get there," added trainer Josie Carroll.
Ami's Holiday is a fourth generation homebred for Ivan Dalos, who bred him in Ontario in the name of his Tall Oaks Farm. The bay colt is out of the Victory Gallop mare Victorious Ami.
"It's everybody's dream to have a horse like this, and once in awhile it comes true," said Dalos of Ami's Holiday, who has now earned $158,838.
In the Grey, 9-1 shot Big Bazinga, ridden by Omar Moreno, stayed in front-running position throughout the majority of the race, setting fractions of :23.20, :48:48, 1:13.41, and 1:38.41.
In the stretch, Big Bazinga dug deep, attempting to hold off the impending challenge of Ami's Holiday, but the latter colt proved best with a powerful acceleration in the final strides of the race.
Ami's Holiday, who went off at odds of 3-2, completed the distance in 1:44.80 and paid $5.10. There was no place or show wagering as the 2 horse, Matador, was scratched, reducing the field to just four. Go Greeley finished a distant third after flattening out in the stretch, and Give No Quarter did not finish the race after being eased near the final turn.