Bejamin Hutzel's homebred Passion For Action made a bold late run to take Sunday's Grade 2 Highlander Stakes by a neck at Woodbine Racecourse. The 4-year-old son of Speightstown covered six furlongs on the firm turf in 1:08.05 under Eurico Rosa da Silva for trainer Michael De Paulo, defeating the star turf sprinting filly Lady Shipman.
“He's nice,” said Da Silva. “I had a lot of speed to run at and I was not worrying about the speed because I knew they would come back to me. They were going very, very fast and there was a pack of three horses together. I was just concerned to save ground, which I could. I decided to stay inside and luckily I had room inside.”
Something Extra was the quickest out of the gate, but Joel Rosario aboard Lady Shipman angled his filly to the outside path and put pressure on the leader all through the early going. Those two were tracked by Green Mask through fractions of :21.99 and :44.44, followed by a gap of several lengths back to the others, followed by Passion For Action, saving ground along the inside. Rounding the turn for home, Lady Shipman made her challenge against Something Extra, and Green Mask went three-wide to join the rush for the wire.
Lady Shipman hung in until the five-furlong mark, then seemed to tire slightly, allowing Green Mask to take over the lead as Something Extra dropped back as well. Da Silva and Passion For Action found a seam along the rail near the top of the lane, and continued to grind away toward the leaders, angling out with a sixteenth of a mile to run. The colt found his best stride late, and just got up to pass Green Mask and win by a neck. Something Extra held on to be third, and Hootenanny just nosed out Lady Shipman for fourth.
Bred in Ontario, Passion For Action is out of a daughter of Stormy Atlantic. The Highlander is his second graded stakes victory, and improves his overall record to 6-4-1 from 16 starts, with earnings of over $610,000.
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