Velazquez earns record fifth Woodbine Mile win
TORONTO — World Approval easily won the $800,000 Woodbine Mile on Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.
The 2-1 favourite trailed only Dragon Bay at the half-mile mark but surged into the lead and cruised to the finish line unofficially in 1:33.05 on a firm E.P. Taylor turf course. The win was the second straight for trainer Mark Casse and record fifth for jockey John Velazquez. Lancaster Bomber was second while Long On Value took third.
With the win, World Approval earned an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 4 at Del Mar.
Also on Saturday, Luis Contreras rode 9-1 longshot Johnny Bear, to a stirring upset win in the Grade 1 $300,000 Northern Dancer. The Ontario-bred horse nipped 3-5 favourite Hawkbill by a head to capture the one-and-a-half-mile turf race in 2:28.34 for his first graded stakes title. Messi was third. And Quidura, the English-bred 2-5 favourite, captured the $250,000 Grade II Canadian Stakes, winning the one-andan-eighth-mile turf event in 1:45.26. Elysea’s World finished second ahead of Starship Jubilee.