Sunday, August 5, 2012


Irish Mission (#3) victorious in the 2012 Breeders' Stakes
Mission possible. The 122nd edition of the Breeders' Stakes were held today at Woodbine Racetrack, the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. After a thrilling Stretch Duel, Irish Mission has now stamped herself as Canada's top 3-year-old Filly, out-finishing eleven male and two female Opponents in the grueling 12-furlong race, valued at $500k.

Under the guidance of top U.S. Jockey Alex Solis, the Daughter of Giant's Causeway and Misty Mission held-on strong after fighting valiantly down the long stretch of Woodbine's world-renowned Turf Course. She beat-out Aldous Snow, who is named after Russell Brand's charismatic Rock Star in Comedy Get Him to the Greek. Irish Mission prevailed by half a length, bumping her lifetime earnings to $834k - which seems all the more impressive considering that she only won her first race in April 2012, after several failed attempts last year locally. Quaesitor finished five lengths behind in third, under top Rider Emma-Jayne Wilson. Supporters of the Winner were rewarded $11.80 to a $2 bet.  The final finishing time was 2:30.9, above five full seconds off the Course Record.

In addition to prevailing today, Irish Mission also managed to keep her female Arch-Rival  and actual Race Favourite Dixie Strike behind her, a well-beaten sixth. The two Fillies have duked it out through this year's Triple Crown, taking turns finishing ahead of the other. 

The one-two finish of Irish Mission and Aldous Snow today is a true testament to the legacy of Milton, Ontario's Sam-Son Farms which in 1987 won this same race with a Filly named Hangin on a Star. That same Filly went-on to become the eventual maternal Grandmother of Irish Mission.  Although they were responsible for breeding today's Winner, in 2010 they had sold her at an Auction for $375k to American Robert S. Evans, Chairman of Crane Co. Aldous Snow is both bred and owned by Sam-Son Farms.

Despite Irish Mission's big Win today, the absence of this year's Queen's Plate Winner Strait of Dover, was felt deeply by Racing Fans.  It was announced just last week that the Colt would not be racing again in 2012 due to a season-ending injury. 

Earlier on the Card, Canadian Champion Trainer Mark Casse and Jockey Luis Contreras (above, top left) were awarded by luxury Watchmaker Movado with Awards for their accomplishments at Woodbine.  I was fortunate enough even to get an ultra-rare Snap (above, top center) with Casse and U.S. Oilman, Hall of Fame Polo Player and Owner of Dixie Strike, John C. Oxley!

Watch the thrilling 2012 Breeders' Stakes below:

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W. | Video credit: Woodbine Entertainment Group)