Yorkton sharp for Nearctic
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Off a blowout Tapeta score in the Grade 3 Bold Venture, the speedy Yorkton will take his talents back to the turf in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Nearctic at Woodbine.
Yorkton ended a seven-race losing streak in the Sept. 15 Bold Venture, aided by gate problems by favored Pink Lloyd. Pink Lloyd was reloaded after breaking through the gate before the start and then broke in the air. Yorkton sped to the lead and never looked back to win easily, leaving a floundering Pink Lloyd back in fifth.
Robert Landry, the general manager for owner and breeder Chiefswood Stable, said the Stu Simon-trained Yorkton has never been better.
“He’s been training phenomenal,” Landry said. “He’s in a good place right now. His best races have been on a firmer turf, and if the turf is soft, we won’t run him. He hasn’t run well on a soft turf. There’s other options. We’ve got the Kennedy Road Stakes at the end of the year.”
The weather forecast for the area calls for a chance of showers Friday night and Saturday.
The six-furlong Nearctic lured 10 others, including the Mike Maker-trained trio of Hemp Hemp Hurray, Kitten’s Cat, and Hembree.
Yorkton, by Speightstown Last 3 Beyers: 103-96-89
◗ His grass form is spotty, but he took the 2017 Charlie Barley Stakes over a mile on this course, and was fourth in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup traveling seven furlongs here in June.
Lady Alexandra, by More Than Ready Last 3 Beyers: 80-103-104
◗ She came up empty last time in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters on Tapeta, but was a close second to Long On Value in her lone local outing, which came against the boys in the Grade 1 Highlander on the grass June 30.
◗ Trainer Graham Motion cross-entered her in Saturday’s Floral Park Stakes at Belmont, but said she’s coming to Woodbine for the Nearctic.
Holding Gold, by Lonhro Last 3 Beyers: 90-85-99
◗ Trainer Mark Casse said things didn’t work in his favor over the summer. After a troubled third on firm turf in the Highlander in June, he was ineffective over giving ground when fifth in the Grade 3 Troy at Saratoga and when fourth in the Grade 2 Play the King here Aug. 25.
“He had a terrible trip in the Highlander,” Casse said.
Hemp Hemp Hurray, by Artie Schiller Last 3 Beyers: 88-88-86
◗ He’s been working up a storm since running second behind Wyatt’s Town in the King Corrie Stakes in July and in the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes Sept. 2, both for 3-year-olds on the Tapeta. He adds blinkers.
Kitten’s Cat, by Kitten’s Joy Last 3 Beyers: 92-87-90
◗ He was knocking on the door in second-level optionalclaiming company before finally breaking through here Sept. 3, in a six-furlong turf sprint that contained two nextout winners.
Hembree, by Proud Citizen Last 3 Beyers: 90-93-89
◗ He won a recent secondlevel optional claimer over seven furlongs on turf at Kentucky Downs.
Yorkton ends a seven-race losing streak with this victory in the Bold Venture Stakes on Sept. 15.