TORONTO, July 25, 2021 – March to the Arch chased down the pacesetters to win the $100,000 Niagara Stakes on Sunday afternoon over Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The stakes feature for four-year-olds and up was run at a distance of about 1 1/8 miles.
With Patrick Husbands up for leading trainer Mark Casse, multiple graded stakes winner March to the Arch settled back in fifth early on behind Belichick and Theregoesjojo as a front-end duel ensued between Admiralty Pier and Primo Touch.
The battle for the lead persisted through early fractions of :23.14 and :45.32, and continued all the way into the stretch, with the top pair as much as 10 lengths in front of rivals approaching the turn.
However, March to the Arch saved ground on the bend then rallied outside of Belichick down the stretch. He reeled in the tiring leaders and went on to score by a widening 4 ½ lengths in 1:45.15 over the ‘good’ course, with Belichick finishing second.
Theregoesjojo edged out Primo Touch in a photo for show a half-length back while Current was fifth followed by Sir Sahib, Admiralty Pier, Woodbridge and Mnemba Island.
“He’s classy. Everybody would like to ride a horse like him,” said Husbands. “He’s got a serious, serious turn of foot.”
Fresh off a runner-up performance in the Grade 3 Dominion Day at the start of July to open his six-year-old campaign, March to the Arch was sent postward as the 6-5 favourite here and paid $4.40 to win.
“In the last race, from reading the Form, I could see that there was no pace and he’s a closer. When we got to the first turn, I saw it and I thought ‘oh my god.’ So I had to press that horse [winner Mighty Heart] the whole way and he still hung in there, you know,” said Husbands in reference to March to the Arch’s season’s debut when he forced the pace early down the backstretch. “It wasn’t his style, but he still came back today and showed you he was a good horse.”
Owned by Live Oak Plantation, the homebred Arch-Daveron gelding won the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes over the E.P. Taylor turf last year prior to his second-place effort in the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile. Today, he notched his eighth career win from 27 starts while pushing his bankroll over the $1 million mark in Canadian earnings.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine Racetrack on Thursday with a 1:10 p.m. post time for the eight-race card.