E.P. TAYLOR | PURSE: $481,080 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | FILLIES & MARES | GRADE 1 | 1 1/4 MILES (TURF)
Favored Tannery, overcoming her far outside post, rallied from last to capture the $481,080 E.P. Taylor Stakes by the skin of her teeth in a head-and-head battle with French invader Fitful Skies over yielding turf at Woodbine Oct. 27.
Ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario, Tannery notched her first Grade 1 victory by a short head for owner Richard Santulli and trainer Alan Goldberg.
A 4-year-old filly by Dylan Thomas out of the Sadlers Wells mare Danse Grecque, Tannery was bred in Ireland by Grange Stud.
Winner of the Speepshead Bay over a soft Belmont Park inner turf course this spring, Tannery was favored off her game second to stablemate Laughing in Belmont's Flower Bowl Invitational Sept. 28.
The 2-1 pick in a field of 10 fillies and mares, Tannery came with a wide move through the long Woodbine stretch to grab a narrow lead near the eighth pole and won a slugfest to the wire with fellow Irish-bred Fitful Skies, who was charging along the hedge for jockey Fabrice Veron.
"That's the way she wants to run," said Goldberg. "I was a little worried about three jumps from the wire when the other horse [Fitful Skies] started coming back. Joel saved a little ground down the backside, brought her out where she wants to be and it worked out perfect. She's a very nice horse and we'll have a nice year with her next year."
Moment in Time rallied for third, with the stalking Minakshi fourth. Final time for the 1 ¼-mile distance was 2:07.13.
Starting on the far outside on the clubhouse turn, Rosario allowed Tannery to drop out last out of the gate while saving some ground the as the two inside starters, No Explaining and Colonial Flag, went to the lead with Minakshi and Irish Mission also forwardly placed. No Explaining led Colonial Flag by about two lengths early while clipping off fractions of :26.71, :51.97, and 1:16.94 over the boggy going.
"I just let her be happy," Rosario said of his decision to come from the rear.
Tannery, taking a wide route, began to move up on the far turn as they reached the quarter pole in 1:42.21, and she had dead aim on the weakening leaders in the drive. After making the lead near the furlong mark, Tannery could not pull away from Darley Stable's Fitful Skies, a Group 3 winner making her North American debut for trainer Henri-Alex Pantall. The two put on a dramatic fight to the wire with Tannery narrowly prevailing.
"I thought we would take off [after getting the lead]," Rosario said, "but that horse on the inside was fighting, too. It was an exciting race."
Tannery began her career in Ireland and earned her second win in nine U.S. starts for Goldberg, who secured his first E.P. Taylor win. Tannery's overall mark stands at 6-4-1 in 19 races with earnings of $750,334. The bay filly earned her first win in five tries at the 10-furlong distance.
Carrying 124 pounds, Tannery paid $6, $3.80, and $3.10 and topped a $48.50 exacta. Fitful Skies, who arrived at the Toronto-area track off a Group 3 win Sept. 29 in Hanover, Germany, returned $6.90 and $4.30. Moment in Time, a Group 3 winner in Great Britain also making her North American debut for trainer David Simcock, paid $5 to show.
Canadian Stakes winner Minakshi was followed by Samba Brazil, No Explaining, Irish Mission, Moment of Majesty, Colonial Flag, and Nancy O.