TORONTO, September 21, 2019 – Patrick Husbands completed a sweep of Saturday’s stakes events at Woodbine taking the $100,000 Victorian Queen and matching Sweet Briar Too in front-end fashion.
Husbands continues to lead all jockeys for stakes wins at the current Woodbine meet with 15 added-money scores during his comeback campaign.
Owlette ran away with her second stakes title, winning Saturday’s co-featured Victorian Queen for Ontario-sired two-year-old fillies.
Shady Well Stakes champion Owlette fired to the lead from post two in her latest assignment and shrugged off the maiden filly Victorian Moon after a :22.24 opening quarter. She opened up two lengths on top through a :45.51 half-mile clocking before Wake Up Maggie emerged between foes and tried to reel in the front-striding filly down the stretch, but chased in vain.
Sent postward as the even-money favourite, Owlette completed the six-furlong Tapeta test in 1:10.10 for trainer Wesley Ward and owner Ten Broeck Farm Inc. She paid $4.10 to win and finished 2-1/2 lengths in front of Wake Up Maggie with She’s a Dream following in third.
Bred in Ontario by Michael C. Byrne, the daughter of Frac Daddy out of the stakes-winning mare Itstartswithadream has now won three (consecutive) races at Woodbine after debuting as a runner-up at Keeneland.
“I know I got a little pressure from Justin [Stein and Wake Up Maggie] on the outside, you know as a little rabbit, but she was just playing with them down the back,” said Husbands, who has won a record five editions of the Victorian Queen Stakes.
Husbands claimed his second Sweet Briar Too title with another successful stakes outing on Saturday courtesy of Jean Elizabeth just two races later in the 6-1/2-furlong main track event for fillies and mares three years old and up.
Partnering with the Larry Rivelli trainee for the first time, Husbands guided Jean Elizabeth to a two-length triumph over favourites Sister Peacock and Special Relativity.
Hustling out from post nine, Jean Elizabeth crossed to command with local two-time stakes winner Sister Peacock and Jesse Campbell pressing the pace through a quarter in :22.70 and half-mile in :45.06.
“Both of them are classy fillies and both of them are speed horses so when the gates flew open, Jesse looked at me, I looked at Jesse and we just did what we had to do,” said Husbands.
Elizabeth Jean eventually drew clear in the stretch for the victory in 1:15.64 and returned $10 to win as the 4-1 third wagering choice.
The four-year-old Adios Charlie-Rooney Doodle filly, who had finished third by a neck in her first Woodbine appearance last October in the Ruling Angel Stakes, is now eight-for-14 in her career with more than $310,000 banked in purse earnings. Rivelli and Richard Ravin bred the winner and share ownership with Patricia’s Hope LLC.
The $50,000 third leg of the Woodbine Turf Endurance Series was contested between the stakes, with series newcomer Prideofdistinction rallying past late leader Camp Creek in the stretch of the 1-5/8-mile marathon.
Justin Stein was aboard the five-year-old Milwaukee Brew-Twilight Gallop gelding, who was coming off a third-place finish in the 1-1/2-mile Halton Stakes on August 28, for trainer Ron Sadler and owners Linda J. Theil and Harri Hosein. The final time was 2:41.89 over firm turf.
Itstartswithadrink finished 1-1/4 lengths behind in second, but was disqualified and relegated to eighth place for causing interference in the stretch to Auntie Katherine after stewards reviewed a claim of foul that had been initiated against Zephan and pacesetter Awesome Halo.
Sine Metu and Camp Creek, winner of the 1-1/2-mile second leg of the series last month, were promoted to second and third, respectively.
The winner returned $9.40 to his backers at the betting windows.
The point-based bonus series will wrap up with the 1-3/4-mile finale on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Live Thoroughbred racing resumes at Woodbine on Sunday, with another stakes double consisting of the Ontario Damsel and Bull Page. First race post time is set for 1:05 p.m.