TORONTO, July 4, 2019 – Mr. Hustle, a two-year-old son of Declaration of War, hopes for another head-turning effort, this time in Sunday’s $100,000 Victoria Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, the Kentucky-bred arrives at the 5 ½-furlong Victoria off a superlative score in his career bow on June 16 at Woodbine.
Under Rafael Hernandez, the dark bay broke running from the gate, was briefly passed at the quarter pole, but then retook the lead with authority. The gelding was 2 ½-lengths clear at the stretch call, widening his advantage at will for a 5 ¼-length triumph in the five-furlong race.
The performance earned rave reviews from Attfield.
“I expected him to run well,” he said. “But I didn’t expect him to run that well. With the type of training I put into him, I didn’t think he’d handle everything as well as he did.”
Attfield, who has two Victoria victories, the first in 1991 with eventual Queen’s Plate champion Alydeed, and four years later with Intrepid Son (who took one of two divisions of the race), has high hopes for the William Werner-owned Mr. Hustle.
“He has a great mind. It looks like he might be a really nice horse, actually.”
The 79-year-old conditioner is looking for another strong outing on Sunday.
“He’s trained very well and had a nice work,” noted Attfield of a four-furlong breeze in :48-flat over the Woodbine Tapeta on June 30. “He hasn’t changed anything at all in his attitude. He’s just nice to be around. Hopefully, he’s going to come up with another big race.”
Mr. Hustle’s sire, the aforementioned Declaration of War, was a multiple graded stakes winner who finished a game third to Mucho Macho Man in the 2013 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“You have to have young ones like this,” said Attfield of the horse bred by Gail Ray. “I’ve had a couple of years now where I haven’t had any two-year-olds of any consequence at all.”
Was the horse named after the trainer?
“Maybe a few years ago,” quipped Attfield.
Last year, Big Drink of Water returned $22.60 in taking the Victoria.
The Victoria is slated as the third race on Sunday’s 11-race card. First post time is 1:05 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.
FIELD FOR THE $100,000 VICTORIA STAKES
POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER
1 – Old Chestnut – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
2 – Forester’s Fortune – Omar Moreno – Laurie Silvera
3 – Curlin’s Voyage – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Josie Carroll
4 – Mr. Hustle – Rafael Hernandez – Roger Attfield
5 – Clear Destination – Luis Contreras – Ashlee Brnjas
6 – Joker On Jack – John Velazquez – Wesley Ward