TORONTO, August 1—Souper Stonehenge, favored at 1-5, assumed command early and held off a closing bid by the stouthearted Pink Lloyd to capture Sunday’s $159,300 Vigil Stakes at Woodbine.
The Grade 3, six-furlong Vigil was the sixth stakes score of the meeting for trainer Mark Casse and the fifth for jockey Patrick Husbands. The winning margin was three-quarters of a length.
“It’s good to sit on light horses and good to sit on good horses,” said Husbands.” I’ve ridden probably 180 big races for Mark [Casse]; he never gave me instructions. I have the confidence in this horse that what it is, is what it is…
“ He left there — what he wanted to do — [and I] just left him alone. It worked out good today.”
Souper Stonehenge led through fractions of :22.96, :45.73, and :57.55 and stopped the clock in 1:09.52.
Green Light Go forced the issue through the opening quarter with Not So Quiet also in close attendance and taking over second place as the leader reached the half while maintaining a one-length advantage.
Pink Lloyd, meanwhile, had been shuffled back to last in the field of six but hit his stride after straightening out for home and was gallant in defeat while leaving Not So Quiet three-quarters of a length back in third.
Cash Dividend was just a head back in fourth with Embolden and Green Light Go rounding out the order of finish.
Pink Lloyd, a multiple Sovereign Award winner whose resume includes 23 stakes wins from 33 starts, had also finished second behind Souper Stonehenge, beaten four lengths, in his seasonal bow against the winter-raced winner.
Souper Stonehenge returned $2.70 and the exacta with 3-1 second choice Pink Lloyd came back at $5.60.
A 5-year-old who was bred in Florida by Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation, Souper Stonehenge had become a stakes winner in the Grade 3 Jacques Cartier on June 20. The homebred gelding is by Speightstown out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Onepointthreecarats.
“He’s one of my little favourites,” said Husbands. “We kid around, we play around. He’s just a horse you want to be around.”
Casse had won two previous runnings of the Vigil, with Exciting Story in 2001 and Laugh Track in 2013.
Husbands had recorded back-to-back Vigil scores with One Way Love in 2000 and Exciting Story in 2001.
– Bill Tallon for Woodbine.com