Silent Poet Tackles Salty Group in Jacques Cartier


Photo: Michael Burns
Silent Poet wins the 2021 Highlander Stakes at Woodbine

A grade 1 winner and track record holder over the Woodbine turf, Stronach Stables' homebred Silent Poet  will look to add a graded stakes over the Toronto main track to his résumé in the May 15 CAN$150,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3).

A six-furlong main track event for 4-year-olds and upwards, the Jacques Cartier has attracted a field of 10, including defending race champion Souper Stonehenge , impressive last out Thorncliffe Stakes winner Arzak , and the potent Mark Casse duo of graded stakes winner Tap It to Win  and 2020 Sovereign Award champion 2-year-old male Gretzky the Great .

Trained by Nicholas Gonzalez, Silent Poet, a 7-year-old son of Silent Name  , arrives at his latest engagement off a second-place finish to Arzak in the April 17 Thorncliffe Stakes over the Woodbine main track.

It was the first start of the campaign for Silent Poet, who brings a record of 11-5-2 from 23 starts and nearly $900,000 in earnings into the Jacques Cartier.

"He came out of that race really well," said Gonzalez. "We were all happy with it. You have to give a lot of credit to the horse (Arzak)  that beat us, but 'Poet' ran really well after having such a long time off and galloped out well too. The best part of the race is that he came out of it super. Justin (jockey, Stein) came over last Sunday and we gave him a nice little breeze. We're looking forward to this race."

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Silent Poet breezed a half-mile in :48 1/5 at Woodbine May 8 in his first work since the Thorncliffe. Stein has been the constant companion of the gelding for the last few years, guiding Silent Poet to victories in the Highlander (G1T), 2020 Nearctic Stakes (G2T), and 2020 Connaught Cup Stakes (G2T) and will be aboard Sunday.

Last year, Silent Poet raced only three times, but capped off his campaign in stellar fashion, winning the Highlander Stakes, contested at six panels on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, marking the fourth graded crown for the Ontario-bred, and the first for Gonzalez.

It remains a treasured win for the two-time Queen's Plate winning conditioner.

"That was such a gutsy and determined effort, and every time I think of that race it puts a big smile on my face," said Gonzalez. "I've been training horses for over 50 years and he's one of those horses that makes a trainer's job much easier. It's not an easy job, but horses like him really are special. He's delightful, he's easy to train, and he loves his job. You're never going to have a barn full of horses like him, but I'll tell you what, when you've got one like him, it's really, really good."

Entries: Jacques Cartier S. (G3)

Woodbine, Sunday, May 15, 2022, Race 8

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • All Weather Track
  • $150,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 4:59 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1White Flag (KY) Emma-Jayne Wilson 120 Roger L. Attfield 15/1
2 2Secret Reserve (ON) Leo Salles 122 Michael Mattine 20/1
3 3Gretzky the Great (ON) Antonio A. Gallardo 122 Mark E. Casse 12/1
4 4Striker (KY) Luis Contreras 120 Josie Carroll 4/1
5 5Tap It to Win (FL) Rafael Manuel Hernandez 124 Mark E. Casse 6/1
6 6Arzak (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Kazushi Kimura 122 Michael J. Trombetta 3/1
7 7Silent Poet (ON) Justin Stein 122 Nicholas Gonzalez 8/1
8 8Red River Rebel (ON) Gary Boulanger 120 Kevin Attard 20/1
9 9Lenny K (ON) Gary Boulanger 120 Kevin Attard 12/1
10 10Souper Stonehenge (FL) Patrick Husbands 124 Mark E. Casse 5/2