Trained by Ian Black, Rahy's Attorney, unbeaten in three career starts at one mile on the grass, kept his streak intact remarkably by taking one of the most prestigious turf races on the continent, a hard-fought, one and one-quarter length win over Ventura, as the two battled from the eighth pole to the wire over a yielding E.P. Taylor Turf Course. Just Rushing wound up third, with Ice Bear fourth, as the mile was reached in 1:36.14.
Black, the former farm manager for Kinghaven Farms, only became a trainer four years ago. Last year, he reached a pinnacle by winning the Queen's Plate with Mike Fox. He can now add a Grade 1 turf classic to his resume.
The Woodbine Mile was one of the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In races, so Rahy's Attorney earned a berth into the Breeders' Cup Mile, October 25 at Santa Anita, should his connections choose to run him. However, it will cost his owners an extra $180,000 to enter. The stable earned a $660,000 first place prize in the Woodbine Mile.
A son of Crown Attorney, who finished third to Geri in the inaugural Woodbine Mile back in 1997, Rahy's Attorney was well positioned in third on the inside for the first half mile, as Just Rushing and Kip Deville took the eight-horse field through a :24.47 opening quarter and a :48.25 half-mile.
As the leaders swung into the far turn, Callaghan quickly moved Rahy's Attorney between the leaders and opened several lengths on his rivals turning into the long stretch, as the six furlongs was reached in 1:11.93.
Kip Deville, with Cornelio Velasquez, swung outside to mount his charge, but failed to fire down the lane, as Ventura, the only filly in the field, and jockey Garrett Gomez, found a seam inside and set sail for the leader.
However, the four-year-old gelding, co-owned by breeder Ellie Boje Farm, Mitch Peters, Dean Read and Jim and Jean MacLellan, repulsed the challenge and claimed the Mile crown, certainly the biggest score in his career.
"I was just off the pace going around the turn," explained Callaghan. "I knew my horse could last the distance. So I made an early move with him. To be honest, I wanted to be right on the fence. I had to swing him out a little bit to get by Just Rushing, then back to the rail. This horse loves the rail. This is a tremendous effort against Kip Deville. I thought he (Kip Deville) was heads and tails above the rest of the field in here. But my horse had home advantage."
Rahy's Attorney came into the Mile off three distance races, in which he'd finished second, third and most recently fourth, in the mile and one quarter Nijinsky Stakes on August 4. He'd had only one win, the mile and one-sixteenth Connaught Cup, in five outings this year.
"I think he must be (a miler). I was trying to make him something else," laughed Black. "Well, I was always happy where he was. He heeled up so much, he ran huge down the lane."
With the victory, Rahy's Attorney became the fourth Ontario-bred to win the Mile in its 12 editions, joining Soaring Free (2004), Numerous Times (2001) and Quiet Resolve (1999). He's also the fourth gelding to win, joining Becrux (2006), Soaring Free (2004) and Quiet Resolve (1999).
Last season, Rahy's Attorney won five of nine starts, including wins in two one-mile, Ontario Sires turf stakes, the Vice Regent and Bunty Lawless.
"It was disappointing," said trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr., about Kip Deville, the top ranked miler in North America. "Maybe he didn't like it (the soft turf). I'm not going to cry and complain about it. He's usually run good on soft courses. We can't explain anything why he didn't fire. He had everything go his way. He just broke so good and let the other horses come up on the inside of him. I'll try to figure out what his excuse is. I'm sure he's got one."
Added Velasquez, "He broke good. He did not try today. He wasn't running today. Whether he did not like the track, I don't know."
As the 12-1 third choice, Rahy's Attorney paid $27.30, $8.70 and $9.30, while Ventura returned $4.20, $4.90. A 2-8 exactor was worth $107.60. A 2-8-3 (Just Rushing, $9.90 to show) triactor cashed in at $757.90, while a $1 Superfecta (2-8-3-6) fashioned a $2,240.60 payoff.
With the $660,000 winning purse, Rahy's Attorney also became racing's newest millionaire, now with over $1.1 million in career earnings.