Bruce Lunsford’s Stacked Deck, Canada’s reigning champion sprinter, showed his class with a determined effort to win Friday’s $ 210,800 Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Barb Minshall, Stacked Deck stopped the clock in a rapid 1:08.19 just a few ticks off the six furlong track record of 1:08.16 set by Essence Hit Man in the 2011 edition of the Jacques Cartier Stakes.
Stacked Deck, a five-year-old First Samurai gelding, arrived at the Tapeta tilt from a narrow head loss to Calgary Cat in the turf Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes and looked every part the champion sprinter in the Kennedy Road.
Boreal Spirit set swift splits of :22.67 and :44.58 under pressure from Colleen’s Sailor and Jacks Escarpment. Stacked Deck, settled in fourth position under Rafael Hernandez, made a bold move up the rail along the back straight and overtook Boreal Spirit late in the turn to sprint home a clear winner. Pink Lloyd, with Patrick Husbands up, came up a length short in second.
The Kennedy Road marked the ninth stakes win of the meet for Hernandez.
“We just let the horse do his thing. He’s a great horse and he was rolling in the stretch,” said Hernandez.
The lightly raced Stacked Deck started his 2016 campaign with a strong second in the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes before finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup. He picked up his first stakes win of the meet when wiring the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes on September 11.
“He’s been really good the past couple months. He’s a challenge but he’s worth it,” said Minshall. “I think he’s the fastest horse on the grounds sprinting and he proved it today.”
Stacked Deck, bred in Kentucky by his owner, banked $ 120,000 in victory while improving his record to 9-2-3 from 22 starts.
He paid $ 3.80, $ 2.70 and $ 2.40, combining with Pink Lloyd ($ 5.20, $ 4.20) for a $ 22.80 (4-2) exacta. A 4-2-3 trifecta (Commute, $ 5.20 to show) was worth $ 133.10 while a $ 1 Superfecta [4-2-3-8 (Boreal Spirit)] came back $ 579.30. Touch of Disney was scratched.
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