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Saturday, August 26, 2006

'Essai the King

A wild Play the King Stakes (G2) resulted in one of Ontario's local heroes LE CINQUIEME ESSAI holding off invader BECRUX to win the seven furlong turf race worth $200,000-guaranteed.
There was all kinds of action in the Play the King, the major prep for the Woodbine Mile on Sept. 17.
Early in proceedings, MILLFLEET ran off with Emma-Jayne Wilson and almost caused an accident. The gelding, who is in career form currently, stayed on okay to be 3rd.
The turf was on the giving side and perhaps didn't suit BECRUX all that well. The newly gelded 4-year-old was under a mad scrub on the turn by Brice Blanc and apparently going nowhere.
"He sucked back out of it, lost his position but then all of a sudden at the top of the lane he reburst on me, I wish I knew him a little bit more," said Blanc.
While Le Cinquieme Essia benefitted from a nice ride by Steve Bahen (who redeemed himself for a somewhat messy journey in the horse's last start at Arlington, AWESOME ACTION was in a pile of trouble from the turn for home to the wire. Sue Leslie and Curtis Jospeh's gelding lost his path at the head of the stretch and again in mid-stretch and was certainly one of the best runners in the field.
Disappointments in the race included VICARAGE, a Todd Pletcher trainee who looked super in the paddock but faded early, the gritty RAW POWER closed too late and SOPHIA'S PRINCE, despite heavy urging by jockey Simon Husbands through the stretch, continued to race off form.

"He's a special horse, 6 wins, 6 2nds and 2 thirds in his last 16 starts," said William Scott.
Paul Nielsen said the Woodbine Mile is "hopefully" next


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