Photo: Michael Burns
Songs and Laughter, expertly handled by leading rider Eurico Rosa da Silva, made his first turf test a winning one with an impressive stalking performance to capture Saturday’s $125,000 Bold Ruckus Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Robert Tiller for owner-breeder Rolph Davis, Songs and Laughter stalked a contested pace set by Beliveau and Aaronic Blessing, before angling off the rail for the stretch run en route to a two-length score in the six furlong sprint for Ontario-sired sophomores. Beliveau, with Luis Contreras up for trainer Mark Casse, held on for place by a neck over the rallying Ultraflame. Songs and Laughter covered six furlongs in 1:09.62.
“There was a lot of speed in the race. He broke really sharp and I just took him back. He’s a very easy horse to relax and he was running very relaxed. We turned for home and I had lots of horse. We just went by them,” said da Silva, who won four races on the nine-race card.
By Singing Saint out of Just Humor Me, Songs and Laughter is a half-brother to the good mare Laughing Falcon who captured the grassy Passing Mood Stakes in 2013 for the same connections.
Songs and Laughter arrived at the Bold Ruckus from a good second-place effort in the seven furlong Queenston Stakes won by well-regarded Conquest Enforcer.
Tiller, inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2008, was confident the gelding would handle the turf, although he was concerned in the build up to the race when Beliveau had to return to the paddock for a shoe repair causing a brief delay.
“I thought Casse’s horse (Beliveau) was mild mannered and got a break to go back to the paddock on a very hot afternoon. I was concerned about that, but it all turned out great,” said Tiller. “It’s been proven many times before that if they like the turf, they’re going to love the turf.”
Songs and Laughter, bred in Ontario by his owner, banked $75,000 in victory while improving his record to 3-3-1 from seven starts.
He paid $11.40, $4.30 and $3.40, combining with Beliveau ($3.80, $2.90) for a $39.30 (3-2) exactor. A 3-2-4 triactor (Ultraflame, $3.40 to show) was worth $129.90.
(Woodbine Entertainmet Group)