Canada’s reigning outstanding jockey, Eurico Rosa da Silva, guided Kevin Attard-trained Pumpkin Rumble to a repeat victory in the CA$128,700 (US$97,724) Valedictory Stakes (G3) Dec. 15 at Woodbine, the final stakes race of his riding career.

“For you to be successful, you need to hang around people like Kevin,” said da Silva, who led the meet by wins and earnings. “I’ve been very lucky to ride for all these great trainers, great horse people, great owners. When you are together with them, all you are doing is winning.”

The Valedictory, a 1 3/4-mile test on the all-weather track, was the lone stakes on Woodbine’s 16-race closing day. The Toronto track was forced to cancel the majority of the previous day’s card because of inclement weather.

Da Silva also rode Pumpkin Rumble, owned by Bill and Al Ulwelling, to victory in the 2018 Valedictory. The 8-year-old English Channel  gelding came into Sunday’s race off a two-month layoff from the Pattison Canadian International Stakes (G1T) after his prep race didn’t fill.

“When the prep failed to fill, I was like, ‘Well, it’s going to be a couple months,'” Attard said. “We gave a good mile work into him (Nov. 24). The exercise riders, Nikki Alderson and Robert Stuart, who kind of joined him at the half-mile pole (on another horse), did a great job. I think that was a big benefit to get him ready and just keep that fitness into him. He’s an older horse. Older horses usually kind of look after themselves.”

Pumpkin Rumble, the 3-5 favorite, was sixth early as Auntie Katherine ran a half-mile in: 49.69, a mile in 1:15.79, and 1 1/4 miles in 2:05.57. He gradually moved up through the 11-horse field and was third with half a mile left to run. Da Silva had more than enough horse under him, and Pumpkin Rumble shot past the frontrunners to open up by seven lengths. He was ridden out to a 5 1/4-length victory.

The final time was 2:57.67 on a fast track.

“He’s a super, super easy horse to ride,” da Silva said. “He has a little of a soft mouth. If you give him a chance to relax, you can do anything you want with him. Like you saw today, I had a little bit of trouble relaxing him in the beginning, but once I tucked him behind, he was so relaxed. At the three-eighths, I did not want to take the lead yet there, but he said, ‘Eurico, I’ll handle this.’ He took over, and from there it was over.”

FearsomeTheregoesjojo, and Attard-trained Sir Sahib rallied to finish second, third, and fourth, respectively.

Pumpkin Rumble was bred in Pennsylvania by Smart Angle. He is the last foal out of the Storm Cat mare Clarins. Hugh Robertson purchased the chestnut for $30,000 from consignor Charlton at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Eastern Fall Yearlings Sale. The Ulwellings claimed Pumpkin Rumble for that same price in March 2014 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The Valedictory leaves Pumpkin Rumble with an 11-8-10 record from 47 starts and earnings of $702,850.

Original Source Credited To: BloodHorse
Photo Credit: Nikki Sherman

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