Toronto Ont.July 7,2013,Woodbine Racetrack.Jockey Luis Contreras aboard Go Blue Or Go Home captures the Grade II Highlander Stakes. Owner Jim and Susan Hill, Trainer Reade Baker.WEG/michael burns photography

(WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

(Daily Racing Form – edited) Go Blue Or Go Home went right to the front and never looked back in capturing Sunday’s $201,600 Highlander Stakes Gr.3 at Woodbine.

Go Blue Or Go Home set a pressured pace of 22.08 seconds for the first quarter-mile. He opened up a clear lead on the turn, through a half-mile in 44.88, then coasted home on top by 5 1/4 lengths in 1:10.46. His stablemate, Fatal Bullet, gave chase in the stretch before weakening and was caught late by the closing longshots Super Chunky and Dan the Tin Man. Super Chunky prevailed by a neck in the place photo. The race was taken off the turf due to heavy rainfall.

Go Blue Or Go Home was the fifth winner on the card for jockey Luis Contreras. It was the second graded stakes score on the day for owners Jim and Susan Hill and trainer Reade Baker, who also took the Dance Smartly with Solid Appeal.

Go Blue Or Go Home returned $8.80 as the second choice and earned $120,000 for his second consecutive stakes victory.

Go Blue Or Go Home is by Bluegrass Cat, out of Go Baby Go (IRE) by Lion Cavern.   He was bred in Virginia by Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor’s Morgan’s Ford Farm.  A $90,000 Keeneland weanling, he now has career earnings of $273,084.

To see the Equibase Chart, click here.

To see the video, click here.

(Editor’s note: While we fully advocate race sponsorships as a way to build both purses and fan interest, sometimes the name can be a bit much.  We can get past the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands ‘cause…well…it’s the Derby.  That said, the Highlander is officially known as “Pizzaville Presents The Highland Stakes CanIII,” and that is not a great name. Nor is the way other media outlets reported the moniker – the Highland Stakes Presented by Pizzaville. 

However, the Jockey Club of Canada was not daunted by the kooky name and they are considering moving the race back to its original Grade 2 status.  After a significant downpour prior to the running of the event (note photo), the race was forced off the turf due to the unsafe conditions of the running surface.When turf course conditions prompt a graded race to be changed to a non-grass course after the close of nominations, the race is automatically downgraded by one grade level for that running only.

That said, the (Pizzaville Presents) Highlander Stakes has automatically been downgraded to a Grade 3 however The Jockey Club of Canada Graded Stakes Committee is now reviewing the race to determine if the race will be restored to it’s original Grade 2 status.)

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