Alpine Stable's Ikerrin Road prevailed in Saturday's Grade 3 Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine, besting pacesetting Boreal Spirit by a length at the wire. The 4-year-old son of Ifraaj, off at odds of 5-1 under David Moran, covered 6 1/2 furlongs over the Tapeta in 1:15.40. Trained by Vito Armata, Ikerrin Road recorded his second win in a row in the Bold Venture. Meanwhile, 8-5 favorite Unbridled Juan finished fifth.
The field of six all left the gate well, and Boreal Spirit jumped out to take the early lead. Holding a one-length advantage through fractions of :23.18 and :45.89, Boreal Spirit extended his lead to nearly two lengths around the far turn. Ikerrin Road, traveling at the rail in a joint third with Unbridled Juan, was relaxed early for Moran, and came under heavy urging nearing the quarter pole to keep pace with the leader.
Moran angled Ikerrin Road out at the head of the lane, and he dueled with Boreal Spirit for about a sixteenth of a mile before he was able to put away that rival. From there, Ikerrin Road continued to pull away from the field steadily, crossing the wire about a length in front of Boreal Spirit. Majestic Slew got up for third, while Circle of Friends was fourth.
Bred in Ireland by Gerard Kerin, Ikerrin Road was a $228,112 purchase for Robert Masterson at the 2016 Goffs Horses in Training sale. He'd won a total of three starts in Europe, but struggled when transferred to the United States. Armata claimed the horse for $32,000 in May of 2017 at Woodbine, the same date as his first North American victory. The Bold Venture is Ikerrin Road's fifth start for Armata and his first graded stakes victory, improving the horse's career record to 7-2-2 from 20 starts for earnings of over $200,000.
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