The six-year-old British-bred gelding took the lead in deep stretch, then held off a determined charge from Kaigun to capture the $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile on Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack. Last year, Trade Storm, with Gary Stevens aboard, had to settle for third as Wise Dan stole the show, earning his second straight race title by 3 1/2 lengths in a track-record time of 1:31.75.
Trade Storm, ridden this time by Jamie Spencer, wasn't nearly as quick but his time of 1:36.87 on a good turf not only secured the $600,000 winner's share but also an all-expense paid berth into the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. And Simcock said Trade Storm will definitely strut his stuff against the world's best.
"Literally, we have nothing to lose, it makes a big difference," Simcock said. "They (owner Qatar Racing Ltd) love racing, they love the whole experience.
"They're very sporting people so they like, as a rule, the big meetings. He (co-owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani from the Qatar royal family) will have taken a massive amount of pleasure from this horse winning this race."
Simcock said Trade Storm came into this year's Mile in much better form than he did last year because in 2013 he ran in many higher graded races against quality completion. And not having to contend with Wise Dan didn't hurt, either.
"Yeah, there was no Wise Dan today which obviously makes quite a bit of difference," Simcock said. "Last year's race with six runners it wasn't an even pace where today there was a good pace.
"The stronger the pace the better he is coming off it."
Spencer, who will retire at season's end to assume a management position with Qatar Racing Ltd., had Trade Storm sitting off the pace for much of the race — as far back as ninth at the 3/4-mile mark. But Trade Storm took off in deep stretch to pass Bobby's Kitten and had more than enough to keep a hard-charging Kaigun, ridden by Patrick Husbands of Brampton, Ont., a half-length back at the finish.
"The pace was very strong," Spencer said. "I got up behind Kaigun . . . and he did all the work for my horse.
"It may have looked like it was difficult but it never felt like it. It felt like everything was happening in slow motion because a lot of horses started to struggle from a half-mile out but my fellow came good."
Kaigun was second in the 11-horse field, with Bobby's Kitten taking third in a photo finish ahead of River Seven.
The remainder of the field, in order of finish, was: Grand Arch; Lockout; Dorsett; His Race to Win; Jack Milton; Silver Freak; and Ancil.
Husbands said Kaigun had his issues during the race.
"The horse was stumbling throughout the whole backside . . . I was holding him together," he said. "When we swung for home, it's like 'How much is he going to win by' but he would not run.
"So as the English horse (Trade Storm) came up on the inside and passed him, he decided to run. The winner was fantastic, he ran a big race. I'm still in shock with my horse."
Jockey Joel Rosario had Bobby's Kitten in the lead until the stretch but said the early pace took its toll on his horse.
"If I could've gone a little slower in the second quarter it might have been a little bit different," he said. "I looked like a winner turning for home, he was running really fast.
"That's a cool horse (Trade Storm), he flew by me. But I was happy with my horse."
Trade Storm earned his sixth victory in 34 career races but first this year in seven mounts. The winner's share also boosted his all-time earnings past $1.49 million.
Trade Storm, at 9/2 odds, paid $11.10, $6.20 and $4.40. Kaigun returned $4.80 and $3.40 while Bobby's Kitten paid $6.10.
All of Trade Storm's wins have been on turf, with all but one of his career starts coming on grass. And Simcock fully expects Trade Storm to return to Woodbine in 2015 to defend his Mile title.
"It comes at a time (of year) that suits, generally there's good ground here and there's a nice prize," he said. "I don't see any reason not to, it certainly will come into the equation anyway."
Earlier, Sam-Son Farm's Deceptive Vision, at 9/2, won the $300,000 Grade II Canadian Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile turf race, in 1:47.80. Queen's Plate and Woodbine Oaks champion Lexie Lou, the 3/2 favourite ridden by Husbands, was last in her first event against older fillies and mares.
"She broke sharp," Husbands said. "I was sitting with a lot of horse and five furlongs out, she just quit."
Royal Fury was second while La Tia took third. Deceptive Vision, a four-year-old, returned $11.30, $6.90 and $4.50 while also securing a berth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf race. Royal Fury paid $19 and $9.70 while La Tia paid $4.80.
British-bred and owned Sheikhzayedroad withstood a claim of foul to win the Grade I $300,000 Northern Dancer Stakes ahead of Dynamic Sky and Reporting Star. The five-year-old gelding claimed a third straight win, posting a time of 2:32.37 in the mile-and-a-half turf event to return $8.30, $4.90 and $4.10. Dynamic Sky paid $17 and $10.40 while Reporting Star paid $7.20.Suggest a correction