Avie’s Flatter Steps Back Up in Connaught Cup

Multiple stakes winner Avie’s Flatter , who cruised to victory in his return to action in June, faces eight rivals on Woodbine‘s E. P. Taylor Turf Course July 18 in the CA$175,000 Connaught Cup Stakes (G2T) for 4-year-olds and up at seven furlongs. 

Bred and owned by Ivan Dalos (Tall Oaks Farm), the 5-year-old son of Flatter  , trained by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Josie Carroll, romped to an impressive 5 1/4-length score in an allowance optional claimer over the Tapeta June 13 at Woodbine.

The victory, at seven furlongs, was the first race in nearly a year for Avie’s Flatter, whose previous outing was a fourth-place finish in the Seagram Cup (G3) last July.

Sporting a record of 5-3-2 from 14 starts, the bay’s most recent effort had Dalos beaming.

“It was nice to see him come back. You always hope for that kind of effort, but you never know. We always knew he was a good horse. Last year wasn’t a good year for him. He had all kinds of problems, but it looks like he’s back to his old self.”

Avie’s Flatter won his career debut by 2 1/2 lengths on the main track at Woodbine in August 2018. He then rallied to finish fourth in the Summer Stakes (G1T) on the Toronto oval turf one month later.

He ended his 2-year-old campaign with consecutive wins at Woodbine, taking the Cup and Saucer Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths on the grass in October and the Coronation Futurity by a half-length in November, en route to Sovereign Award honors as Canada’s champion 2-year-old male.

The Ontario-bred made his 3-year-old debut in the Kentucky Utilities Transylvania Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland in April 2019 following a 4 1/2-month layoff. He rallied to win the 1 1/16-mile turf test by a half-length.

That 2019 season yielded a second in the first two jewels of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes, respectively, before a third in the final jewel, the Breeders’ Stakes.

In three 2020 appearances, Avie’s Flatter finished third in an allowance race in June, second in the Eclipse Stakes (G2) July 4. and fourth in the Seagram Cup just over three weeks later.

“When he was a 2-year-old and he started breezing, he showed that he had talent,” recalled Dalos. “When you breed a horse, you always hope you breed a good one, but they don’t all turn out to be like that. I don’t recall him being a troublesome horse. I think he was pretty mature. He always had a good mind.”

Dalos is hoping for a repeat of his latest performance, the first victory in 26 months for Avie’s Flatter, a half brother to Canadian stakes winner Avie’s Mineshaft .

“That would be nice to see. Hopefully, he can come up with the same type of race he had in his last start,” Dalos said.

Trainer Mark Casse, who won the 2015 Connaught with Lockout , entered Chuck Willis , Olympic Runner , Proven Strategies , and Tap It to Win . Silent Poet , trained by Nicholas Gonzalez for Stronach Stables, is back to defend his title.

Gray’s Fable , Holiday Stone , and Eskiminzin  complete the field.

Entries: Connaught Cup S. (G2T)

Woodbine, Sunday, July 18, 2021, Race 7

  • Grade IIT
  • 7f
  • Turf
  • $175,000
  • 4 yo’s & up
  • 4:17 PM (local)

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