Chartwell Partners' Esposito, named after NHL legend Phil Esposito, looks for his biggest score to date in Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate, at Woodbine.
Having netted two wins in four career starts, including a sharp victory at seven panels over the Toronto oval Tapeta on June 5, the son of Ghostzapper streaks into the Plate in top form.
“He was so impressive in that last race,” said jockey Alan Garcia. “He's a very nice horse. The day that he won, I moved him out at the 5/8ths pole and when I asked him to go, he just took off. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to ride him in such an important race.”
The Stanley Cup of Canadian thoroughbred racing, if you will.
Esposito made his debut on October 10, 2015, finishing third in a six-furlong race over the Santa Anita main track.
The bay broke his maiden next time out, courtesy of a 2 ½-length triumph at Del Mar last November, followed by a third in the Remington Springboard Mile on December 13.
Now, the Ontario-bred will go for the hat trick with a win in the 157th running of the iconic horse race.
Garcia's jockey agent, who happens to be named Tony Esposito, is undoubtedly thrilled at the thought of a first star performance on July 3.
“I think he's more excited than me,” laughed Garcia. “Last year, we talked a lot about this horse. We saw his races in the U.S. and they were very impressive. When we found out that we would be riding him here, it was pretty amazing. (Laughing) If we were to win this race, maybe it would be more special for him (Tony). Maybe he'll retire if we win it.”
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