TORONTO, September 12, 2021 – Skygaze, full of run late under rider Patrick Husbands, dashed away from her rivals with ease down the stretch en route to a three-length win in Sunday’s $100,000 Belle Mahone Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack.
Trained by Mark Casse, who won both Woodbine stakes on Saturday, Skygaze, a four-year-old daughter of American Pharoah-Skyscape, broke alertly in the Belle Mahone and sat second to pacesetter Fate Factor, who led the way through the opening quarter timed in :24.79.
Skygaze continued to track Fate Factor through a half in :48.73, but by the three-quarters mark, the positions were reversed.
It was game over mid-way down the lane as Skygaze romped to her fifth victory from 11 career starts for owner Tracy Farmer.
Crystal Glacier, also a Casse trainee, was second, a neck ahead of No Mo Lady. Art of Almost, another Casse charge, was fourth. Final time for the race was 1:42.72.
“By the three-quarter pole, I was loaded,” said Husbands. “She was the best today.”
It was the first stakes win for Skygaze, who was bred by Normandy Farm LLC. She was third in the 2019 edition of the Grade 3 Mazarine and third in the Grade 3 Trillium on June 26, her last start before the Belle Mahone.
“Last time I rode her she was a little bit quiet,” noted Husbands. “Today, I went alone and warmed her up. It showed in her form that she likes to be in the race and the last time I rode her she was flat the whole way with me. Today, she showed me that she really wanted to be in the race. She showed she was the best.”
Skygaze paid $5.50 to win.
The Woodbine Turf Endurance Series continued with a 1 ½-mile Inner Turf race. Taos (FR), at 4-1, took the second leg for trainer Kevin Attard. The series concludes with a 1 ¾-mile marathon on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on October 3.