Two-year-old colt Solidify was the stakes star of Woodbine's second annual Grey Day on Sunday, as he circled the Grey Stakes field to win the featured $125,000 Grade 3 event contested over 1-1/16 miles on the main track.
The energetic European invader Chuck Willis fired out of the gate to establish the lead with Jammin Still and 4-5 favourite Nashtrick stalking three-wide through opening fractions of :24.33 and :48.40. Meanwhile, Solidify broke outwards from post eight but ducked inside and trailed the field early on.
Once settled, Emma-Jayne Wilson moved Solidify into contention, progressing four-wide down the backstretch and improving position on the final turn as the field passed three-quarters in 1:12.33.
Chuck Willis, Nashtrick and Solidify raced three-across turning for home with Solidify eventually surging ahead down the lane. Tripwire, who had a ground-saving trip behind the leaders, came through between horses and offered up a valiant effort fighting on for second-place honours.
“On paper, I thought maybe Nashtrick would be the lone speed and we'd be sitting second,” said Wilson. “It was a little quick the first bit, so I just dropped him to the inside and just let him get settled and come with a run. When I pulled the trigger, it was like he was shot out of a canon.”
The Tapizar-Elaborate colt is now undefeated in two starts for trainer Reade Baker and Boston-based owners Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch. Bred in Kentucky by China Horse Club International, Solidify is a full-brother to Peppered, who was the runner-up in last year's Grey Stakes.
“He's a good horse. He was really, really classy the first time he ran,” said Wilson of Solidify's 6-1/2 furlong career debut on September 23. “I split horses and he held off a tough favourite. I said to Reade that day, ‘He's a good horse and he'll go further and he'll do anything you ask,' and I couldn't ask for more.”
Solidify prevailed in a final time 1:43.90 by half a length over Tripwire with Sir Winston finishing third, 3-1/2 lengths behind.
Sent postward as the 4-1 second choice, Solidify paid $10.30, $5 and $4. He combined with Tripwire ($6.40, $4.40) for a $2 exacta, which returned $72.70, while the $2 trifecta, completed by Sir Winston ($6.70), paid $424.70.
Grimgrinnin' Ghost, the longest shot on the board at 42-1, edged out the other Baker trainee, Inclusive, for fourth, resulting in a $2,448.60 payout for a $1 ticket.
Jammin Still, Nashtrick and Chuck Willis completed the order of finish.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2018 Paulick Report.