TORONTO, August 11, 2019 – Leading all the way in Sunday’s Grade 3 Seagram Cup at Woodbine, Mr Ritz capped off a week filled with celebration for new Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Josie Carroll.
Canada’s reigning Champion Older Male and Champion Male Turf Horse Mr Havercamp was the talk of the toteboard at odds of 3-5 after winning his season’s debut at Saratoga in last month’s Grade 3 Forbidden Apple Stakes. He got the first call out of the gate from the inside post, but Mr Ritz charged straight to the lead from post five and never looked back in the 1-1/16-mile Tapeta test.
Mr Ritz, the bettors’ second choice, carved out early fractions of :24.88 and :48.57 while building up a four-length advantage ahead of the favourite. Mr Havercamp began to reel him in past three-quarters in 1:12.20, but Mr Ritz forged on to score the victory in a final time of 1:42.75.
Thor’s Rocket, the second longest shot on the board at 66-1, finished 1-1/4 lengths behind in second off a ground-saving trip and 6-1 third choice Special Forces close from the back to collar Mr Havercamp in a show photo.
Jockey Patrick Husbands was reunited with Mr Ritz for their second victory as a pair and the reinsman earned his fourth Seagram Cup Stakes title.
“He came out of there and he owned the lead,” said Husbands, who previously rode the colt to victory in an allowance race at Woodbine last August. “He got everything his way.”
Owned and bred by Earle I. Mack, the four-year-old son of Oasis Dream out of Que Puntual picked up his first win of the season and fourth overall from nine career starts. The lion’s share of the $125,000 purse boosted his bankroll over $270,000.
“This is just a really nice horse that I believed was going to improve this year and he’s proving us right,” said Carroll, who was among the Class of 2019 honoured at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Wednesday evening.
On the 100th anniversary of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame builder Joseph E. Seagram’s passing, representatives of the Seagram family and City of Waterloo Museum presented the trophy to the connections in the G.H. Mumm Champagne winner’s circle. The family was represented by Edward Pollard Seagram, the youngest grandson of Joseph E. Seagram, and joined by Dave Jaworsky, Mayor of Waterloo, to make the presentation.
A nose shy of a graded stakes win in the Eclipse over the same course and distance earlier this year, Mr Ritz was sent off at odds of 5-1 and returned $12.50, $7.50 and $4.90. He combined with Thor’s Rocket ($35.60, $14.90) for a $2 exacta worth $522.30. Special Forces ($5) completed the $1 trifecta, which paid $912.45, and the superfecta was worth $2,555.75 for a $1 ticket.
Are You Kidding Me, Revved Up, Florida Won (2015 Seagram Cup champion under Husbands) and Rose’s Vision completed the order of the finish.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine on Wednesday evening, with the $100,000 Eternal Search Stakes featured on a special fillies and mares-filled Ladies Night at the Races. First race post time is set for 6:45 p.m. For more information on Ladies Night, visit Woodbine.com.