Sam-Son Farms' homebred Up With the Birds rallied last-to-first to capture Saturday's Grade 2 $236,400 Nijinsky Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Malcolm Pierce and expertly ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva, Up With the Birds was in full flight for the stretch run to win going away. It was the second stakes win on the card for da Silva who earlier captured the Ontario Damsel Stakes with Regal Conqueror.
Up With the Birds, Canada's reigning horse of the year, posted a record of 4-2-0 from six starts in 2013 including wins in the Black Gold Stakes at the Fair Grounds, and the Marine and Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine to go along with a tremendous Grade 1 victory in the Jamaica Handicap, at Belmont, to complete his sophomore season.
The Stormy Atlantic-Song of the Lark bay was earning his first win of the campaign following a sixth-place run at Keeneland and a deceptively good sixth-place effort in the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico when defeated just 2 ¼-lengths by Utley.
Five Iron and Really Sharp set a swift pace in the Nijinsky battling through splits of :46.23 and 1:09.94 as da Silva waited patiently at the back of the pack.
River Seven loomed large as the field straightened away, but there was no denying the late run of Up With the Birds who flew home a four-length winner in a final running time of 1:45.74. Dynamic Sky closed for place over River Seven.
“He's a very nice horse,” said da Silva. “I wanted to do the same as I do in the morning and let him relax. He always works really well like that.
“I want to see him very confident in himself. Even more (lengths) back it doesn't matter, I just want him to be very comfortable with his stride, because I know when he turns, he comes very strong. In the stretch, I didn't even make him run. I just let him be happy and he was happy stretching out.”
Pierce was pleased with the effort of his charge who arrived at the Nijinsky with a quick five furlong turf breeze in 1:00.60 on the tab.
“He's had a couple of really good works coming into this race,” said Pierce. “He's in good order and when you have a good horse right, they're dangerous.”
Up With the Birds banked $144,000 in victory while improving his career record to 7-2-1 from 12 starts.
He returned $9, $3.90 and $4.10, pairing with Dynamic Sky ($10.90, $4.90 for a $99.60 (7-2) exactor. A 7-2-1 (River Seven, $4 to show) triactor was worth $407.40. Dorsett completed a $1 Superfecta (7-2-1-6) worth $1353.60.
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