TORONTO, September 28, 2019 – Another Saturday at Woodbine, another stakes sweep for jockey Patrick Husbands.
The hot-handed reinsman had a great day at the Toronto oval, winning both Grade 3 stakes events featured on the 11-race program, highlighted by a track record performance from three-year-old colt Global Access in the $125,000 Ontario Derby.
Live Oak Plantation’s homebred Global Access made his case for year-end honours winning the 1-1/8-mile sophomore stakes event in 1:48.24 on the Tapeta. The Michael Trombetta trainee eclipsed the 1:48.30 record established by Amis Gizmo in the Ontario Derby three years ago during his 2016 Sovereign Award-winning campaign.
Avie’s Flatter, who was a prominent player throughout the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, was the 6-5 favourite and established the lead early for top rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva with 2-1 second choice Global Access and Husbands pressuring the popular pacesetter through fractions of :24.67, :48.53 and 1:12.07. Global Access powered alongside Avie’s Flatter in the turn and overtook that foe en route to the 1 1/4-length victory.
“We took the blinkers off of him and he’s a different horse on the [synthetic],” said Husbands. “Eurico had a class horse and I’m not going to let him get things his way. My horse carried 124 pounds, I’m not scared of that, to me he looked like the best horse so I kept pressuring the whole way and when he answered, he gave me everything.”
Armistice Day made a late run to finish second, a half-length in front of Jungle Fighter, who came through off a ground-saving trip for third. Solidify rallied from the back to finish fourth over Avie’s Flatter while Roaring Forties completed the order of finish.
The victory was the Florida-bred chestnut colt’s third Grade 3 score having captured the Marine Stakes over 1-1/16 miles on the Tapeta this spring and Saratoga’s Saranac Stakes over the same distance on turf last time out on August 31. Global Access has finished no worse than third in his last eight starts, winning half of those races.
The Giant’s Causeway-Daveron colt returned $6.40 to win.
“I want to be here for the rest of the year,” concluded Husbands from the winner’s circle after securing his meet-leading 17th stakes win at Woodbine.
Earlier on the card, Husbands also guided Lael Stable‘s The Great Day to victory in the $125,000 Durham Cup. Making his Canadian debut, the Arnaud Delacour trainee defeated the favoured Special Forces in a nose decision.
The Great Day had his way leading through panels of :26.08, :50.43 and 1:14.32 before coming under attack in the 1 1/8-mile Tapeta test. Thor’s Rocket, runner-up in the OLG Elgin Stakes here one month ago under Justin Stein, loomed to his outside, but it was a wide-sweeping Special Forces, coming off a second-place finish in the Presque Isle Mile Stakes with Alan Garcia aboard, that posed the biggest threat and they took off in a head-to-head fight to the finish.
“I picked it up from the half-mile, squeezed him a little bit by the three-eighths pole, I get him over to his right lead and he dug in,” said Husbands. “And when Alan came, he dug in again and then about four strides from the wire, he dug back again, so he never gave up.”
The Great Day preserved in a photo finish over the 4-5 favourite in a final time of 1:49.68. Thor’s Rocket stayed for third, with Say the Word and Aheadbyacentury completing the order of finish.
Bred in Argentina, the five-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday and Great Glory was a two-time Group 1 stakes winner in South America and has his hit the board in 12 of his 15 career starts to earn upwards of $350,000 in purses.
Picking up his fifth career win and first in four (North American) starts this year, he returned $6.90 to win as the 5-2 second choice.
Live Thoroughbred racing resumes at Woodbine on Sunday afternoon, with an 11-race program featuring the $100,000 Classy ‘n Smart Stakes. First race post time is set for 1:05 p.m.