Final Call Makes First Victory A Grade 1 In 'Win And You're In' Natalma - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Final Call Makes First Victory A Grade 1 In ‘Win And You’re In’ Natalma

Making a four-wide move on the turn for home under jockey Rafael Hernandez, Last Call left the maiden ranks in a big way on Saturday at Woodbine in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, winning the Grade 1 Johnnie Walker Natalma Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and earning a fees-paid berth to the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf to be held at Keeneland on Nov. 5.

The filly by English Channel, trained by Kevin Attard and owned by X-Men Racing 2 LLC and SF Racing LLC, crossed the finish a length in front, covering one mile on firm turf in 1:36.49 and paying $44.30 to win on a $2 bet.

Cairo Consort, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Antonio Gallardo, finished second after encountering traffic problems along the inside on the stretch turn. G Laurie, the 3-1 second choice ridden by Manny Franco, was three-quarters of a length farther back in third after having similar trouble to the runner-up. The order of finish was completed by Wickenheiser, Adora, Collecting Flatter, Courtly Ro, and pacesetter Star Candy. The latter cut out the early fractions of :24.27, :49.02, and 1:12.76 before tiring at the top of the stretch.

Last Call, bred in Kentucky by English Channel Co-Owners and Jodi Cantwell, was a $30,000 yearling purchase by agent Donato Lanni at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where she was consigned by Four Star Sales.  She was produced from the Black Minnaloushe mare, Over Served.

The Natalma winner made her debut July 23 in a  6 1/2-furlong Woodbine turf sprint, finishing second to Cairo Consort, who would go on to win the Catch A Glimpse Stakes in her next start. Last Call came back a month later in a seven-furlong race on the Woodbine turf, this time finishing fourth after being headstrong on the turn.

In her first two starts, Last Call was equipped with blinkers, but Attard took them off for the Natalma. The chestnut filly was eager in the early stages, but then settled into seventh position down the long backstretch run of the one-turn mile race. Hernandez tipped the filly to the outside approaching the three-eighths marker and she accelerated quickly to vie four wide for the lead with a quarter mile to run.

Last Call opened up by 1 1/2 lengths at the furlong pole (seven furlongs clocked in 1:24.43), then withstood late challenges from Cairo Consort and G Laurie after they had clear running room in the final furlong.

Attard said he would discuss Last Call's next start with the ownership group but indicated the Breeders' Cup was a strong likelihood.

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