TORONTO, October 8, 2020 – Armistice Day, owned by Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins, faces six rivals in the $125,000 Durham Cup (G3), Sunday at Woodbine.
A 1 1/16-mile main track test for three-year-olds & upwards, the Durham Cup, first run in 1906 (Inferno, owned by Joseph E. Seagram, won the inaugural running), goes as race nine of 11.
Bred in Kentucky by Glenvale Stud, four-year-old Armistice Day, the son of Declaration of War-Harmony Lodge, will chase his second stakes score and first graded stakes title on Sunday.
Campaigned by multiple graded stakes winning trainer Barbara Minshall, Armistice Day, who took last year’s Toronto Cup, has compiled a 3-2-2 record from 15 starts.
He was fifth in his most recent outing, the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1T) on September 19, his second straight turf engagement. Three starts ago, the chestnut drove clear in the stretch to win by 1 ¼ lengths in a 1 1/16-mile main track allowance race – originally scheduled for turf – at Woodbine.
“He’s doing really good,” said Minshall. “He ran a good race in the Mile and wasn’t beaten far. He’s come out of it in good order. I think he handles the Tapeta track as good as any, so we’ll give it a shot. He really likes that track [Tapeta]. He’s always trained well on it, right from when I had him early as a two-year-old. He’s always trained well on it. We’ve got him good to go and hopefully, it will be a good race for him.”
Armistice Day impressed at two when he won at first asking in July 2018 and was second next time out in the Victoria Stakes.
The biggest win of his career to date came in the aforementioned Toronto Cup. After tracking the leader, Armistice Day seized control on the turn and kicked clear in the stretch to win in 1:46.96 for the distance of about 1 1/8 miles.
Minshall, who has 26 career stakes wins, eight of them graded, is hoping the gelding can deliver another piece of hardware to his connections this Sunday.
“He’s a pretty straightforward horse. He tries every time he runs. He’s always going forward and he’s a good-feeling horse. I think he’s a just a real honest horse. He always gives his best, and you can’t knock that in any horse. I expect a good race from him. You always have to have racing luck on your side, but I expect him to run a good race.”
Armistice Day will face stakes-placed Inventing Blame (2-2-1 from 9 starts), Pioneer Man (3-0-0 from 6 starts), Roaring Forties (3-1-0 from 9 starts), multiple stakes placed Salute With Honor (6-2-2 from 18 starts), graded stakes winner Skywire (4-2-0 from 12 starts), and supplemented Timeskip (4-7-9 from 30 starts).
Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield has won a record six Durham Cups, most recently with Are You Kidding Me in 2016. He will send out the Charles Fipke homebred Inventing Blame, a four-year-old son of Blame and Inventing Paradise, in this year’s edition.
First post time for Sunday’s 11-race card is 1:10 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.
$125,000 Durham Cup (Grade 3)
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Skywire – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
2 – Inventing Blame – Daisuke Fukumoto – Roger Attfield
3 – Salute With Honor – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
4 – Pioneer Man – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
5 – Roaring Forties – Justin Stein – Daniel Vella
6 – Timeskip (S) – Leo Salles – Renee Kierans
7 – Armistice Day – David Moran – Barbara Minshall