TORONTO, June 15, 2019 – Reunited with his regular reinsman Patrick Husbands, fan favourite Kingsport hauled down the top trio to kick off his seven-year-old campaign with a victory in the $100,000 Steady Growth Stakes on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
The 1-1/16-mile race set up perfectly for the Sid Attard trainee with a three-horse speed duel up front between Nipigon, Thor’s Rocket and Cooler Mike.
“He left there sharp,” said Husbands. “He relaxed going in the first turn and I was just smiling seeing three of them going head-to-head, you know, and I got a perfect trip. When I reached about the three-eighths pole, I said, ‘Let’s go, boy!’ and he just jumped on the bridle and it was just a matter of time.”
Kingsport gapped the leading trio in fourth-place throughout fractions of :24.77, :48.23 and 1:11.75. However, the 4-5 favourite came charging down the stretch to get up in time for the victory in 1:43.35.
“I was a little worried, but when he made the run, I said he’s going to get there,” said Attard.
Cooler Mike had pulled ahead of his fellow front-running foes with a furlong to go in the Ontario Sired Stakes and finished second by just a neck. Thor’s Rocket edged out Nipigon 2-3/4 lengths behind while Argentium completed the order of finish.
Husbands, who missed Kingsport’s third Sir Barton Stakes victory last December while recovering from injury, was pleased to be back aboard his favourite horse.
“Last year when he won, I was in so much pain in Sunnybrook [Hospital] and when he won that day, I saw the race live and my pain stopped immediately. I didn’t ride him [that day], but I love this horse bad and he’s a classy horse,” said Husbands, who collected his fourth stakes win of the meet.
“He’s been training this horse, he knows this horse better than anyone else,” noted Attard.
A career winner of nearly $950,000 in purses, Kingsport now has a dozen victories (including nine stakes) to go along with 10 other top three finishes from 32 starts for Goldmart Farms and Royal Laser Racing Inc.
The son of Milwaukee Brew returned $3.70 to win.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine, featuring the $125,000 Trillium Stakes (Grade 3). First race post time is set for 1:05 p.m.