Florida-bred Old Chestnut could not catch Step Forward in their last meeting but will get another chance at him in the Grade 3 Jacques Cartier at Woodbine Saturday. Seven 4-year-olds and older will go six furlongs on Woodbine’s synthetic main track in the CA$135,000 contest.

Step Forward set the pace in the second level, $50,000 optional claiming going six furlongs on April 28 at Woodbine as Old Chestnut settled three lengths back in fifth. Step Forward took a clear lead down the stretch as Old Chestnut passed rivals to get second but was unable get closer than three lengths at the finish.

Trainer Martin Drexler claimed Old Chestnut for $32,000 in October of 2022 and saddled him to victory in his next start in April of last year. But he has been unable to win with the 7-year-old gelding in nine starts since.

Two of his better races came when third in both last year’s Jacques Cartier won by Anarchist and in the Grade 3 Bold Venture taken by Patches O’Houlihan in August.

Bred in Florida by Live Oak Stud, Old Chestnut has four wins, three seconds and six thirds in 32 career races with earnings of $279,583.

Eswan Flores will ride Old Chestnut from post one and they are 8-1 on the morning line.

Step Forward is trained by Mark Casse for Gary Barber and is 6-1 in the program.

Prior to the April 28 win, the 5-year-old gelding had not won since taking a first condition, $32,000 optional claiming going seven furlongs at Woodbine in May of last year. 

Step Forward has post seven and will be ridden by Sahin Civaci.

Candy Overload is the 9-5 favorite having won his last two races for Casse.

Owned by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Pantofel Stable LLC, Candy Overload won the $95,000 Big Daddy going six furlongs on the Turfway Park synthetic on March 9 and the CA$114,000 Thorncliffe over five-and-a-half furlongs at Woodbine on May 5.

Patrick Husbands will ride Candy Overload from post three.

Others set for the Jacques Cartier are Ironstone, who was third in Thorncliffe and will be ridden by Ryan Munger; Thorncliffe runner-up Flag of Honour (Aus) with jockey Kazushi Kimura, Mason’s Gamble will be ridden by Sofia Vives and Rafael Hernandez rides War Bomber (Ire).

Return to the May 31 issue of Wire to Wire