Bullards Alley had an easier time winning the 1 1/2-mile Canadian International than this trainer did making it out of the winner’s circle after interviews.
Bullards Alley’s record 10 3/4-length win in the $1-million (Canadian) Grade 1 race did most of the talking on Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor turf course, but everyone wanted to talk to Tim Glyshaw.
There was the usual assortment of media and dignitaries, of course, but also the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and Japan Racing Association. Glyshaw had not prepared himself as well as he had prepared his horse.
“This race wasn’t on our radar until the last minute, and it certainly wasn’t on our radar to win it like this, so it’s hard to know what we’ll do next,” said the trainer who has strings at both Churchill Downs and Indiana Grand and conditions the five-year-old Flower Alley gelding for Wayne Spalding and Faron McCubbins. “I know there’s no room on the plane to Breeders’ Cup because we took the last spot on it—another thing we weren’t prepared for.”
Glyshaw is referring to Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint candidate Bucchero, who just last week won the Woodford Stakes at Keeneland at 26.6-to-1.
“We came here because we know he likes the distance and we thought he’d like the ground, so that’s something we’d be looking for next,” Glyshaw said. “We’d want at least a mile and a half for him. Maybe we’ll have to wait until the winter racing. We’ll see.”
Bullards Alley tracked behind a slow pace set by Messi on turf rated as soft. Woodbine’s leading jockey Eurico Da Silva picked up the mount after Glyshaw could not secure a U.S.-based jockey, and he sat a few lengths off a 1:18.98 six-furlong pace before starting to make a move through one mile in 1:44.52.
“I knew I had a ton of horse on the turn,” Da Silva said. “With the wind you don’t want to make too many moves out there. Just stay straight and out of trouble. When I let him go he responded. I knew I’d be tough to catch.”
“He rode perfectly,” Glyshaw said. “Bullards doesn’t like to be left with too much to do, so with the slow pace having him just a couple lengths off was perfect. I’ve been run down here before so I didn’t want to get too excited, but once we opened up five lengths I knew we were home.”
That 10 3/4-length margin is the largest in the race’s history and extremely rare for graded stakes races on the turf. Bullards Alley has won 6 of 36 races with lifetime earnings no approaching $1-million.
Oscar Nominated finished second with the French-bred Flamboyant third. 2.3-to-1 favorite Idaho finished fourth to deny trainer Aidan O’Brien the record number of Group/Grade 1 wins in a single year for now.