ETOBICOKE, Ontario -- Field of Courage ($82.70) upset European shipper Cotai Glory and the favored White Flag to win the Grade 2, $282,000 Nearctic Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths at Woodbine on Sunday.
Field of Courage stalked pacesetters Conquest Tsunami and Dowse's Beach in the 3 path through quick fractions of 22.88 seconds for the opening quarter and 45.93 for the opening half-mile. As the front-runners began to tire, Field of Courage hit the lead at the top of the stretch and was never challenged, crossing the line in 1:12.07 for six furlongs on soft turf.
"I just broke, and I let my horse be really close," said winning jockey Luis Contreras. "I didn't want to be too far back on this kind of track, so everything worked out very well for us."
Contreras said Field of Courage handled the soft going nicely. He had finished off the board in his two previous starts on the turf.
"He was fine," he said. "He was moving pretty good. He just kept forward, so I wasn't really worried about the track. He opened up really nice, and he just kept going until the wire."
Field of Courage was supplemented to the Nearctic by trainer Mark Casse and recorded his sixth win in his 17th start. He banked $180,000 while recording his first graded stakes win to bring his career earnings to $534,483.