Saturday, November 15, 2008

El Brujo seeks first stakes score in Coronation Futurity

TORONTO, November 14 * El Brujo, a gelded bay son of Candy Ride, looks to land his first career added-money tally in Sunday's $250,000 Coronation Futurity Stakes, at Woodbine.

Owned by Windways Farm and trained by Malcolm Pierce, El Brujo has two wins, two seconds and one third from five career starts.

His two-runner up scores and third-place effort have come in stakes events: a second in the Clarendon, a second in the Vandal and a third in the Swynford.

The Ontario-bred broke his maiden in his career debut on June 8. Under regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson, El Brujo, at 7-1, made a strong bid a furlong out and recorded a head score at 4 ½ panels.

In his most recent race, El Brujo, the even-money choice, drove clear in the stretch to win a six-furlong allowance race by 3 ¾ lengths on the Toronto oval's Polytrack.

The victory earned El Brujo a career-best 79 Beyer Figure (Daily Racing Form speed rating).

"It was a very solid effort," said assistant trainer Sally Pierce, wife of Malcolm. "He settled nicely and was strong through the stretch."

The lifetime earner of nearly $160,000 has never been more than a half-length behind the winner to date, as Malcolm Pierce sets his sights on his first triumph in the Coronation Futurity.

Sunday's race provides El Brujo with his first two-turn test, his longest previous race coming in the seven-furlong Swynford on September 14.

"He's done extremely well in stakes company and has always been right there at the wire," said Sally Pierce. "It would be nice if he could run a distance. His works in the morning suggests it won't be a problem at all."

El Brujo will spend time at Windways Farm in King City, Ontario, after the Coronation Futurity.

"He's had a good year," offered Sally. "He's got a great attitude, a very hard-knocking horse who will get a well-deserved break after this race."

Last year, Kesagami, under Patrick Husbands, won the 104th running of the Coronation Futurity.

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