Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sir Barton Stakes score lands Tiller his 1,500th victory

TORONTO, December 3 - Dancer's Bajan, who is owned by 3 Sons Racing Stable, waltzed into the winner's circle after a thrilling renewal of Wednesday's $125,000 Sir Barton Stakes at Woodbine.

The four-year-old chestnut gelding outfinished Archers Alyancer and odds-on favorite Sand Cove to capture the Ontario-sired event by a half-length.

For the son of Trajectory, it was his eighth career victory. For trainer Bob Tiller, the 1 1/16-mile event was his 1,500th career tally.

"This is a great thrill to do it with this horse," said Tiller. "He has a lot of heart. I didn't think we could beat(Sand Cove), but we did."

Dancer's Bajan traveled 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.60.

Winning jockey Patrick Husbands moved to within two tallies of meet leader Jim McAleney, who bagged three victories earlier in the card.

"I had a beautiful trip," said Husbands. "I made sure Richard (Dos Ramos, jockey of Sand Cove) didn't get out of my sight. He didn't stop trying and he gave 110 per cent."

Dancer's Bajan was out of trouble in fourth on the first turn, but quickly advanced into second on the backstretch, a length or two behind front-running Sand Cove. On the second turn and into the stretch, the gelding steadily began to reel in Sand Cove. Meanwhile, Archers Alyancer joined the fray from the inside and also turned up the heat on the favorite.

Dancer's Bajan dug deep and outfinished the pair in the final yards for his third added-money victory of the season. He also won the Shepperton and the Steady Growth.

Most recently, the Ontario-bred finished fifth in the Overskate and fourth in the Mt. Sassafras Stakes, prompting Tiller to regroup. He entered the Sir Barton off an eight-week layoff.

"I was going to send him home to the farm," explained Tiller. "We decided to wait because he was acting okay. This is what we pointed him to and we got it done. In his last couple of races, there was no pace to run at. They were funny races. There was no speed. He didn't like that. He proved before he could go long."

Dancer's Bajan elevated his earnings to $786,902 and, according to Tiller, will be back for more in 2009.

"He'll be back in the spring," offered Tiller. "He can sprint or go long. He's been a wonderful horse."

Dancer's Bajan returned $7.40, $4.60, $3.30, combining with Archers Alyancer ($6, $4.50) for a $41.50 exactor. Sand Cove ($2.70) rounded out a triactor worth $115.10.

Severi was scratched.

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