El Tormenta upsets at 44-1 in Canadian Woodbine Mile


El Tormenta, a 44-1 longshot by Stormy Atlantic stuck with a rail draw in the Grade 1, CAN$1 million Woodbine Mile, drove by favored Got Stormy to upset in the Breeders’ Cup qualifier.

The winner finished up 1:32.60 under jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva, edging the filly Got Stormy after a brave move by some tiring pacesetters off the turn.

“Viva Canada!” Da Silva, the Woodbine-based jockey, hollered afterward.

El Tormenta, stuck in behind a wall of horses, tipped out off the final bend to go by the trio of Silent Poet, Awesometank and Admirality Pier, who dueled three-wide early on through swift opening fractions.

From there, it was a battle between the top two as El Tormenta widened his advantage late.

"She ran her heart out," said Got Stormy's rider, Tyler Gaffalione. "She gave us everything she had. She’s an incredible filly. I’m looking forward to her in the Breeders’ Cup."

Meanwhile, trainer Gail Cox, who conditions El Tormenta, saw her entry as "overlooked" given some poor recent trips over the local lawn.

“His past three starts — they’ve been troubled," said Cox, who also fretted a rail draw for her 4-year-old, gelded Sam-Son homebred.

"I just think he was laying closer and really bullied his way through a little bit. He’s a very, very nice horse."

Lucullan hit the wire third but darted out in deep stretch, impacting the run of Raging Bull, Chad Brown’s invader who rallied from a distant last in the field of 11 on turf. After a stewards inquiry, the order was adjusted to place Raging Bull third.

El Tormenta made the Woodbine Mile his second career graded stakes victory. Previously, the gelding won the Connaught Cup (G2) back on June 1 before he ran fourth in the Highlander (G1) and the Play the King (G2).

“Last year, I thought he was a sprinter," Cox said. "He ran shorter and he ran a different style. This year, every start, we thought he’d probably like to go a little farther.”

“This was my last opportunity to win this race – it was the only one left," added Da Silva, who plans to retire at the end of the Woodbine season. "And this was my opportunity, and here we are. I was fully focused. It was a little tough with Pink Lloyd (declared a non-starter in the Grade 3 Bold Venture, earlier in the card) when he broke from the gate today, but I keep talking to myself, ‘Just focus on what you need to focus on, and keep faith in your horse.

"And never give up.’ This horse ran so beautifully. Good luck to everybody!”

El Tormenta was the record third Woodbine Mile winner for Sam-Son, which won the race with Quiet Resolve (via a disqualification) in 1999 and Soaring Free in 2004. According to Woodbine Communications, El Tormenta’s $91.40 win mutuel was the largest in Woodbine Mile history, edging the $91.10 returned by Quiet Resolve.




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