Toronto Cup/Belle Mahone Recap
War Bomber Tops Them All In Toronto Cup
TORONTO, September 12, 2021 – War Bomber (IRE), at odds of 19-1, drew away down the lane to pull off the upset in Sunday’s $134,800 Toronto Cup, contested over Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Leaving from post three, War Bomber, a three-year-old gelded son of War Front, was positioned in fourth along the rail by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, as the trio of Azzurro, Barnegat Light and 9-5 choice Gretzky the Great tussled over the early lead, with Azzurro eventually striking front, then taking his eight rivals through an opening quarter-mile timed in :23.69.
The 49-1 outsider continued to set the pace through a half in :46.74, with Barnegat Light second, Gretzky the Great in third, and War Bomber nestled in fourth, waiting for his cue from Bridgmohan.
As the field rounded the turn for home, a pair of contending closers, Riptide Rock, second in the Queen’s Plate, and the ultra-consistent Artie’s Storm, began to pick up momentum, while Bridgmohan found a seam and roused War Bomber to the front.
Arriving at the Toronto Cup on a two-race win streak, War Bomber easily rebuffed all challengers, going on to record a two-length triumph in a time of 1:34.14 over firm ground. Artie’s Storm was second, Riptide Rock was third and Gretzky the Great finished fourth.
“I had a beautiful trip,” said Bridgmohan. “There was a little bit of speed in there and I opted to follow, obviously, at the end, try to find him clear daylight. Once I did and I pointed him for a hole, he just went. He’s a pretty talented horse and when he took off, he really took off. I knew there would have to be a horse flying to come and catch him.”
Trained by Norm McKnight for owner Bruno Schickedanz, War Bomber, making his stakes debut, now has three wins from five career starts. Unraced at two, he launched his career with a tenth-place finish at Gulfstream in March, finishing seventh next time out at Woodbine.
The bay paid $41.30 for the win.
Skygaze Strong In Belle Mahone Score
TORONTO, September 12, 2021 – Skygaze, full of run late under rider Patrick Husbands, dashed away from her rivals with ease down the stretch en route to a three-length win in Sunday’s $100,000 Belle Mahone Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack.
Trained by Mark Casse, who won both Woodbine stakes on Saturday, Skygaze, a four-year-old daughter of American Pharoah-Skyscape, broke alertly in the Belle Mahone and sat second to pacesetter Fate Factor, who led the way through the opening quarter timed in :24.79.
Skygaze continued to track Fate Factor through a half in :48.73, but by the three-quarters mark, the positions were reversed.
It was game over mid-way down the lane as Skygaze romped to her fifth victory from 11 career starts for owner Tracy Farmer.
Crystal Glacier, also a Casse trainee, was second, a neck ahead of No Mo Lady. Art of Almost, another Casse charge, was fourth. Final time for the race was 1:42.72.
“By the three-quarter pole, I was loaded,” said Husbands. “She was the best today.”
It was the first stakes win for Skygaze, who was bred by Normandy Farm LLC. She was third in the 2019 edition of the Grade 3 Mazarine and third in the Grade 3 Trillium on June 26, her last start before the Belle Mahone.
“Last time I rode her, she was a little bit quiet,” noted Husbands. “Today, I went alone and warmed her up. It showed in her form that she likes to be in the race and the last time I rode her, she was flat the whole way with me. Today, she showed me that she really wanted to be in the race. She showed she was the best.”
Skygaze paid $5.50 to win.
The Woodbine Turf Endurance Series continued with a 1 ½-mile Inner Turf race. Taos (FR), at 4-1, took the second leg for trainer Kevin Attard. The series concludes with a 1 ¾-mile marathon on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on October 3.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications
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