Front running Regally Ready, returned to form holding off the fast-finishing favorite Bated Breath by a neck to win the $506,535 Nearctic Stakes (Gr.1) at Woodbine overnight.
The Grade 1 win capped a brilliant weekend for Vinery stallion More Than Ready with Group victories by More Joyous on Caulfield Cup Day and by ex-pat Better Be The One in Singapore.
The 1200m Nearctic Stakes, first of three Grade I stakes on Woodbine’s Canadian International card, forms part of the Breeders’s Cup “Win and You’re In” challenge series. The Nearctic victory guarantees Regally Ready, a 4-year-old son by Vinery’s More Than Ready, a starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Gr. 2) on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
This was Regally Ready’s first Grade One victory and was a welcome return to form after a disappointing effort in the Turf Monster Handicap (Gr. 3 Turf) last month. Considered one of the best turf sprinters in the country having won two Gr.3 races during the spring, Regally Ready has now won five of eight starts in 2011.
Bated Breath has finished second in a pair of group I events in England this summer and started favourite. Regally Ready, jumping from barrier 9, took the early lead and was never headed.
Regally Ready has now won 8 of his 16 career starts with two seconds and four thirds, earning $670,684.