Contreras Rides Tio Magico To Victory In Queenston At Woodbine

Sam-Son Farm homebred Tio Magico took the co-featured $125,000 Queenston Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds, in front-running fashion with Luis Contreras aboard for trainer Gail Cox.

The Uncle Mo-Magic Broomstick gelding broke sharp and cruised through fractions of :23.85 and :46.95 en route to the 2-1/2-length victory in 1:22.54.

“I just love this guy. I think you haven’t seen the best of him,” said a beaming Contreras after the victory. “He has something that attracts me and makes me feel good.”

Cutting back to seven furlongs after finishing fifth in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race here on June 19, Tio Magico paid $6.50 to win as the 2-1 second choice. The winning effort improved his record to 2-1-1 from eight career starts.

“We’ve always liked this horse a lot,” said Cox. “He ran so well last year, and I think we just probably messed around with his style a little bit. This is how he wants to run, and I think he’ll run a distance like this. His gallop out was huge. So, it was so nice to be able to win like this.”

Tio Magico was a top three Queen’s Plate contender, assessed at 6-1 odds in the Winterbook predictive rankings. When asked about targeting the 1 1/4-mile first leg of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, which takes place on Sunday, Aug. 22 at Woodbine, Cox said the date would be up for discussion among the connections.

Artie’s Storm angled out wide from mid-pack on the final turn and came on to finish second in the Queenston, with Queen’s Plate eligible Red River Rebel, the 9-5 favourite, chasing from the rail in third. Del Griffith finished fourth and was followed by Master Spy, another Plate contender who pressed the pace near the turn, and Download.

Gretzky the Great was scratched along with Candy Overload, who was cross-entered in the Marine.


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