TORONTO, October 7, 2020 – Trainer Breeda Hayes is hoping for an encore performance from Credit River in Saturday’s $250,000 Cup & Saucer Stakes, at Woodbine.
A 1 1/16-mile event for Canadian-bred two-year-olds run over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, the 84th running of the Cup & Saucer has drawn nine starters, including Credit River, an Ontario-bred son of More Than Ready.
Bred and owned by Hillsbrook Farms (Garnet Williamson), the colt had a dazzling debut in the $135,000 Ontario Racing Stakes on September 19 at Woodbine.
Under Emma-Jayne Wilson – who’ll be aboard again Saturday – the grey outran his 41-1 odds in grand style in the second running of the five-furlong Inner Turf stakes for two-year-olds.
“It was a tough task and a tall task – I mean, a first-time starter – but he showed his talent today,” Wilson said after the victory. “I just let him get his legs, he got away from there okay, but he’s not nearly as quick as those guys were early and I didn’t expect him to be, so when I gathered him up and asked him to pick it up, he didn’t even hesitate… he was all business.
“This horse comes by his talent honestly,” she continued. “You can see it in the form; his mom [Like a Gem] was a multiple stakes winner that I used to ride here, and one of his siblings [half sister, Hard Not to Like] was a Grade 1 winner. So to see him flourish on the turf is no surprise.”
Hayes has equally high praise for Credit River, the third black-type foal out of Like a Gem for Williamson, who campaigned Hard Not to Like to a Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1T) score before she was sold to Speedway Stables for $1.5 million at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
“My gosh, he ran huge,” said Hayes, who recorded her first career stakes win. “I was expecting him to run in a maiden race, but the maiden race didn’t go. I was expecting him to gallop in that maiden race, but you know, sometimes you go with the hand that God dealt you. And it was a good one.”
She doesn’t expect her young, headstrong charge to take a step backward in the Cup & Saucer.
“He’d done everything so well and so professionally ahead of his first race. He’s coming into this race in great form. He is a bit of punk. He dropped me – I’d say it was more than eight weeks ago – and I landed on a fan after galloping him. All of a sudden, he exploded. Something must have caught his eye, or somebody moved something, and I wasn’t ready for him. That’s why Johnny [Hayes’ husband] has been galloping him since. He’s doing a great job, so we’re not going to take him off.”
Hayes is hopeful for less drama, and a carbon copy of the 2011 Cup & Saucer result, the year Hard Not to Like beat the boys.
“He was ready three weeks before that maiden race didn’t go. He’s not going to be as seasoned as some of the ones that are in here, but he’s fit to go the distance. I’m just crossing my fingers and hope he gets a good trip. Hopefully, he’ll show a bit of that kick he did going 5/8ths. We’re excited.”
Hall of Fame trainer Jim Day has won 10 editions of the Cup & Saucer, including seven straight runnings from 1984-1990.
Last year, 18-1 Muskoka Gold, bred by the late Bill Graham, delivered conditioner Mark Casse his fourth Cup & Saucer crown.
The Cup & Saucer is slated as race seven on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post time is 1:10 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.
$250,000 Cup & Saucer Stakes
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1. Giant Waters – Rafael Hernandez – Daniel Vella
2. Credit River – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Breeda Hayes
3. Too Legit – Jerome Lermyte – Barbara Minshall
4. Carpe Horseshoe – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
5. Master Spy – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
6. Download – Justin Stein – Michael De Paulo
7. Beyond My Dreams – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
8. Threefiftyseven – David Moran – Barbara Minshall
9. Dragon’s Brew – Daisuke Fukumoto – Robert Tiller