By Dick Downey
Photo by WEG/Michael Burns
Up With the Birds left a short field in its tracks in upper stretch to post a dominant win in the 1 1/16-mile Marine Stakes at Woodbine.
Up With the Birds, trained by Malcolm Pierce, now will target the Queen's Plate Stakes July 7 at the Toronto track.
Eurico Rosa da Silva, Jr. and Up With the Birds relaxed at the back of the field of five in the early going as Drenched set splits of :24.25, :47.52 and 1:11.31. Ghost Hunter and Five Iron were close to the pace while Winning Cause was reserved with Up With the Birds.
Up With the Birds started rolling in the far turn and spurted to the lead leaving the far turn. He won by 4 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:43.82. Winning Cause closed to get second over Five Iron. They were followed by Ghost Hunter and Drenched. Silent Admirer was scratched.
A son of Stormy Atlantic, Up With the Birds is a Sam-Son Farm homebred out of the Seeking the Gold mare Song of the Lark. The Ontario-bred wasn't nominated to the Triple Crown, but Da Silva believes a horse that can handle the classic 1 1/4-mile distance of the Queen's Plate.
"He handled everything so easy. He's a wonderful animal," said da Silva. "If it was two miles today, it would be even better."
Pierce hopes that Up With the Birds will become the first Coronation Futurity champ to go on and win the Plate since Norcliffe in 1976.
"He came into the race in good order and timing wise he's had plenty of space between races," said Pierce. "Let's just keep our fingers crossed for six more weeks."
Up With the Birds entered the Marine off two races this year -- a win in the six-furlong Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds, and a neck defeat in the 1 1/16-mile, Grade III Transylvania Stakes on turf at Keeneland.
Up With the Birds bagged $108,000 and put his record to 4-1-1 from six starts. He returned $4.40, $2.40 and $2.10 as the favorite.