TORONTO, October 11, 2020 – Jockey Patrick Husbands and trainer Mark Casse completed a sweep of the Thanksgiving weekend stakes events at Woodbine as Salute With Honor won the $125,000 Durham Cup (Grade 3) in front-end fashion on Sunday.
Salute With Honor was followed by a hard-closing Skywire and Rafael Hernandez to complete a Casse exacta in the 1-1/16-mile main track test for horses three years old and up.
The Husbands-Casse duo also clicked in yesterday’s $250,000 Cup and Saucer Stakes with Canadian-bred two-year-old Master Spy.
In Sunday’s graded stakes feature, Salute With Honor took command from the quick-leaving Inventing Blame into the first turn approaching the :23.43 quarter mark and clocked a half-mile in :47.36 and three-quarters in 1:11.78 en route to victory.
Skywire, who raced inside near the back of the seven-horse field, maneuvered outside on the final turn and came tearing home to finish second, one length behind his triumphant stablemate. Timeskip closed from last to nab the show honours for conditioner Rene Kierans ahead of another Casse trainee, Pioneer Man. Roaring Forties, Armistice Day and Inventing Blame completed the order of finish.
Salute With Honor was not far off Freitag’s track record (1:42.16) as he posted a final time of 1:42.35.
First-time stakes winner Salute With Honor ($6, $3.20, $2.90) was the slight 2-1 favourite over Skywire ($3.10, $2.50), who won the Grade 2 Eclipse on July 4 over the same course and distance, and they combined here for a 3-1 exacta worth $19.10.
“He’s a horse that likes to be forwardly-placed,” noted Husbands of the six-year-old chestnut son of To Honor and Serve. “I don’t touch him, he just does what he’s gotta do. I just be the pilot and relax on his back, and when I asked him, he gave me all he can give me.”
The Live Oak Plantation homebred gelding earned his seventh career win and has banked nearly $360,000 from 19 starts. Salute With Honor has now won two races in a row at Woodbine and sports a five-for-seven record here lifetime.
Husbands has won back-to-back editions of the Durham Cup on two occasions. He first accomplished the feat with the Casse pupil Delegation and the Josie Carroll-conditioned James Street in 2012-2013. Last year, he guided The Great Day to victory for trainer Arnaud Delacour. The veteran jockey and four-time winner Casse earned their first Durham Cup titles together in 2009 courtesy of Pool Play.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues on Thursday at Woodbine, with post time for the nine-race program set for 2:15 p.m. A reminder that the new Friday post time of 4:35 p.m. goes into effect this week and Racing Night Live returns on TSN with coverage from Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park from 7-9 p.m. ET.