TORONTO, September 10, 2022 – Luckman, at odds of 8-1, found daylight late to take Saturday’s $127,050 Toronto Cup, contested over Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Coming into the one-mile Toronto Cup riding a three-race win streak, Luckman, claimed by trainer Vito Armata for Alpine Stable Ltd. on June 24 for $25,000, was at the top of his game once again.
First Empire left the gate running and burst to the front in the early strides, as 9-5 choice Churchtown was settled into second, with Riot House and Mannix completing the top four through an opening quarter reached in :24.08. Luckman, with Daisuke Fukumoto in the irons, was last of 10 in the early going.
It was First Empire still leading the pack, holding a half-length advantage over Churchtown, through a half timed in :47.08, as Fukumoto and Luckman remained at the back of the pack.
Turning for home, Churchtown, to the outside, ratcheted up the pressure on First Empire, and a host of others soon began to descend the frontrunners. Ahead by a length at the stretch call, Churchtown braced for the challenge of Day Tripper, Lac Macaza and Luckman, now sixth, who were called upon for their best run.
Luckman and Fukumoto found a seam between rivals and punched through in the final strides to earn a hard-fought neck win over a game Churchtown. Day Tripper was a head in front of Lac Macaza for the show award.
The final time over firm going was 1:34.36.
A 3-year-old son of Empire Maker-Sea Level Drive, Luckman notched his fourth straight win and third consecutive for Armata and co.
“After he broke, he had a little bit of a stumble, but I took back,” said Fukumoto. “He has a good mind and everything. Maybe he’s going to have a good future.”
It was the first stakes win for the bay, bred in Kentucky by Tenlane Farm, LLC.
“I followed him as a 2-year-old,” started Armata. “He got beat by 31 lengths in Kentucky. My brother said, ‘What are you doing?’ I liked the horse since he was a baby. So, the rest is history. I’m really happy. The horse is in good order. He’s a good horse.”
Launching his career at Woodbine last August, Luckman posted a pair of seconds in four starts before heading south to open his 2022 campaign. After tough results at Fair Grounds, Keeneland and Churchill, he returned to Woodbine to break his maiden in June.
He is now 4-2-0 from 13 starts.
Luckman returned $18.80, $6.70 and $3.80, combining with Churchtown ($3.90, $2.80) for a $60.40 exactor. Day Tripper ($5.50) completed a $366.70 triactor. Lac Macaza rounded out a $1 superfecta that returned $1,639.50.
Racing at Woodbine continues Sunday with the running of the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes. First post is 1:00 p.m.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms
Watch the replay here: