TORONTO, July 28, 2019 – Olympic Runner staged a late run to reel in the leaders in the co-featured $100,000 King Corrie Stakes for three-year-olds early Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
With a pair of scratches (Hurricane Highway and Trappeze Artist), the field was reduced to just four starters for the six-furlong sprint in which Big Drink of Water was the 4-5 favourite, returning to the scene of his 2018 Victoria Stakes win and making in his first start since a top five finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
Big Drink of Water and Souper Success dashed out of the gate in a two-horse breakaway down the backstretch and they raced one-two, less than a length apart, clocking fractions of :22.66 and :44.45. Meanwhile, the trailing pair of Corduroy Road and Olympic Runner gapped as much as seven lengths behind.
However, Olympic Runner displayed his quick turn of foot and made up significant ground heading into the stretch, where he ran away with all the spoils. The winning margin was 2-1/2 lengths as he crossed the finish line in 1:09.66. Souper Success collared Big Drink of Water in the race for place with Corduroy Road finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind.
Owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse, Olympic Runner now boasts back-to-back wins under Patrick Husbands, who noted the Gio Ponti-Nadadora gelding “was mellow and a different racehorse” with earplugs added this time out. Despite being hyper in post parade and missing the break in his July 14 victory, Olympic Runner had circled a field of seven in that seven-furlong allowance race.
“He was pretty bad again in the gate and I drew the one-hole, but I was lucky we only had three other horses in the gate with me,” said Husbands. “Down the back, I was getting a perfect trip. These guys were clicking along, and he was just enjoying himself. At two and a half, I said, ‘Boy let’s go’ and he just decided to run. When I straightened up, he switched to his right lead, and showed me that I had a lot of horse under me, so I just hand-rode him down the lane.”
Olympic Runner was the 9-5 second choice on the toteboard and paid $5.60 to win.
The victory was his third in seven career starts and boosted his earnings to six-figures.
Husbands, who also won yesterday’s Shady Well Stakes, now leads all jockeys for stakes wins at the Woodbine meet with seven while Casse earned his eighth stakes score as leading trainer.