Hembree, finishing strongly down the centre of the track under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., was up in time to score by a neck in Saturday’s Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack.
The $268,700 Nearctic, a six-furlong turf stakes for three-year-olds and upward, attracted a field of 11 and Hembree was one of three Mike Maker-trained horses in the field along with Hemp Hemp Hurray and Kitten’s Cat.
Maker has a string at Woodbine for the first time this year and his assistant, Nolan Ramsey, has been the man in charge.
“I got a good trip,” said Ortiz, who was recording his first win at Woodbine.
“He (Ramsey) told me that there was going to be some pace in front of me, so don’t panic, just let him be comfortable.”
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