Yorkton was no match for superstar Pink Lloyd in two earlier meetings but benefited from the crowd favorite’s misfortune on Saturday in the Grade 3, $125,000 Bold Venture Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs at Woodbine.
Pink Lloyd broke through the gate prior to the start of the Bold Venture, pitching jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva to the track before being collared quickly by an outrider and returned to his starting position.
And while Yorkton broke cleanly when the field was again settled, Pink Lloyd hopped badly and could not enter serious contention despite gamely trying to overcome his adversity.
Yorkton was full value for his victory, however, as he crushed his eight opponents while leading at every call en route to a 5 ¼ length victory.
Yorkton and Jessie Campbell celebrating, picture Michael Burns Photography
“My hat’s off to this horse,” said Campbell. “He ran through his bridle today. I’ve loved this horse since he was a 2-year-old.”
Yorkton led through fractions of :22.79 and :45.49 while being pressed by Boreal Spirit with Sable Island also in the hunt.
The 4-year-old Chiefswood Stable charge opened up turning for home, however, and cruised through six furlongs in 1:08.84 before crossing the wire in a final clocking of 1:15.05.
Sweet Little Man closed on the outside to nose out Battle in Seattle for third money.
Battle in Seattle, invading from New York for trainer Graham Motion, trailed early but rallied well up the inside to just miss the place.
Boreal Spirit held for fourth money, 1 1/2 lengths behind Battle in Seattle and a head before the 2017 Horse of the Year, Pink Lloyd, who after all his travails, was beaten just under seven lengths for all the money and a length and a half for second place while ending fifth at 1.15-1.
Kingsport, the second choice at 3-1, could not keep up while cutting back to a sprint and ended sixth.
Loose on the Town, Sable Island, Sweet Grass Creek completed the order of finish. Ikerrin Road was scratched.
Yorkton now has won four stakes races and six of 17 overall.
“He’s been a nice little horse,” said trainer Stuart Simon. “He’s really matured a lot in the last two months. He’s probably put on 50 pounds. I was really confident he’d run well today.”
The winner returned $12.10, $7.20 and $5.70 and keyed an exacta with Sweet Little Man ($8.50, $5.70) worth $97.40. The invading Battle in Seattle ($7) completed a $1 trifecta worth $341.25 with Boreal Spirit at odds of 78-1 rounding out a $1 superfecta of $9,436.50.