Calgary Cat won a thrilling race for the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine this evening, in a contest dominated by Canada’s very best sprinters.
Eight horses went to post for this six furlong turf dash, with Mick Channon’s Divine representing Europe, and also the former Criquette Head-Maarek colt Full Mast.
From the break it was a level break with Expected Ruler going on into a clear lead from Stacked Deck and Divine and then came Conquest Enforcer, as the field reached the home turn.
Stacked Deck came to join Expected Ruler, with Divine plugging on in behind.
Stacked Deck hit the front from Conquest Enforcer while Calgary Cat came with a late run on the wide outside in a thrilling finish.
Conquest Enforcer got his head in front inside the final furlong, but Stacked Deck and Rafael Hernandez fought back gamely, while Calgary Cat surged late on and the trio flashed past the post in a whirl, with Full Mast in fourth.
It was evident that Conquest Enforcer had finished third best, but there was a delay to the official announcement, with Calgary Cat and Luis Contreras getting up in the final strides from Stacked Deck, in a fabulous race.
This was a true triumph for Canadian racing, as Calgary Cat, the 2014 Sprinting Champion in Canada, was beating last year’s leading exponent.