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Arzak Continues Superiority in Jacques Cartier

This was the first graded win for the colt campaigned by Sonata Stable.

Arzak wins the Jacques Cartier Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack

Arzak wins the Jacques Cartier Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack

Michael Burns

Arzak, a 4-year-old son of Not This Time , made it 3-for-3 at Woodbine by taking the May 15 $151,200 Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3) against six opponents.

There's something about the Toronto oval that seems to bring out the best in Arzak. The Michael Trombetta trainee broke his maiden on Canadian soil at second asking in November 2020. Coming back this April, the chestnut won the Thorncliffe Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths.

On a picture-perfect afternoon, the Sonata Stable silk-bearer once again rose to the occasion over the Woodbine Tapeta. Rider Kazushi Kimura wasted little time turning on the engine with Arzak, with the duo on top by a length through an opening quarter-mile timed in :22.55, as Secret Reserve to the inside, and Silent Poet, to the outside, tracked the pacesetter. Arzak extended his lead to 2 1/2 lengths after a half-mile reached in :44.49, as Souper Stonehenge, last year's Jacques Cartier victor, graded-stakes winner Tap It to Win, and Striker, LNJ Foxwoods' budding star, all took aim at the frontrunner.

"I just dropped the lines to show the natural speed and just go wire to wire," said 2021 Sovereign Award winner Kimura. "He doesn't have to go to the lead. I wanted to drop the lines and make it comfortable for him, and he's going to show up for the final stretch."

Ahead by four lengths at Robert Geller's stretch call, Arzak easily fended off his rivals to post a 1 1/2-length triumph, stopping the clock at 1:08.91. Tap It to Win was second, Souper Stonehenge was third, a neck in front of the previously undefeated Striker. The favorite paid $6.50 to win, combining with Tap It to Win for a $33.10 exactor.

It proved to be the winning game plan against an accomplished group of sprinters.

"He's a nice horse," Kimura said. "I hope that he's going to be the next (now retired Canadian sprint superstar) Pink Lloyd."

Bred in Kentucky by John Oxley, Arzak has a record of 5-1-1 in 13 career starts over three years and earnings of $253,378. Gainesway originally consigned Arzak as a yearling to the 2019 Keeneland September Sale, where 2-year-old pinhooker Julie Davies purchased him for $85,000. The following year she offered him at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, where he changed hands for $575,000 to Marc Tacher.

Arzak is the sole stakes winner out of the Tapit  mare Delightful Melody, a daughter of multiple graded-stakes winner Bending Strings. Delightful Melody has produced two winners from three foals to race and has an Alternation  2-year-old filly named Bending L and a yearling colt by Flameaway .

Video: Jacques Cartier S. (G3)