TORONTO, June 20, 2021 – Souper Stonehenge put an end to Pink Lloyd’s Jacques Cartier reign as he took off down the stretch to claim the 2021 edition of the Grade 3 stakes event for sprinters four years old and up on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
Jockey Patrick Husbands teamed up with the Mark Casse trainee, who was the 3-2 second choice in the six-horse field.
After pressing the pace early on, Souper Stonehenge took command near the quarter pole from front-runner Readyforprimetime with splits of :22.72 and :44.93 flashing up on the board.
With Daisuke Fukumoto picking up the mount, four-time Jacques Cartier champ Pink Lloyd raced between horses at the back of the tightly knit bunch and surged into third on the turn, but Souper Stonehenge dashed home a four-length winner in 1:08.89 for six furlongs.
Pink Lloyd, who set the 1:08.05 track record in the 2018 edition of the Jacques Cartier, settled for second in his nine-year-old debut as the 6-5 favourite. Malibu Secret, last year’s Jacques Cartier runner-up, came through inside to finish third while Joker On Jack, Readyforprimetime and Dixie’s Gamble rounded out the order of finish.
Souper Stonehenge returned $5 to win and $2.70 to place. There was no show wagering.
The five-year-old Speightstown gelding, who finished third in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct in early April, earned his first win of the year from five starts.
“Going into this race, I breezed this horse about four times and I think he’s a world beater at Woodbine,” said Husbands. “This horse is the real deal right now.
“I rode him as the best horse in the race. I respect ‘The Boss.’ Any time you can beat Pink Lloyd at Woodbine Racetrack, especially sprinting, he’s the world beater, he’s the champion here. So I knew it would take a real Pink Lloyd to beat this horse today.”
Souper Stonehenge, who finished second in last year’s Grade 2 Kennedy Road at Woodbine ahead of Pink Lloyd, now sports a career record reading 4-4-1 from 15 starts. The lion’s share of the $150,000 purse boosted his bankroll over the $300,000 mark for owner/breeder Live Oak Plantation.
Husbands, who won 70 races including 10 stakes during last year’s shortened season, was pleased to land the connections a stakes victory after the pandemic delayed the start of the meet.
“It’s amazing to be back at Woodbine – it’s a beautiful place, a good environment,” said the veteran reinsman. “It’s amazing how much stress the owners went through, through the pandemic. They waited so long, putting all this money into these horses and they didn’t know when the races were going to start. You’ve got to tip your hat off to the owners.”
Jockey Justin Stein doubled up in this weekend’s stakes action at Woodbine when the Wesley Ward-trained Outadore rallied to victory in the $125,000 Woodstock Stakes for three-year-olds on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m just fortunate to be on the right horse on the right day,” said Stein, who also won the first stakes of the meet on Saturday, with Star Shoot winner Can’t Buy Love for conditioner Michael Trombetta.
In the Woodstock, Stein had Outadore positioned mid-pack before sending the Outwork colt three-wide into contention on the turn and kicking clear down the lane to win in 1:09.77 over six furlongs on the Tapeta.
Outadore paid $5.90 to win as the slight second choice to Jaxon Traveler, who appeared on the lead briefly at the start and finished 1-1/4 lengths behind the winner in second. Ward also picked up third money with Chasing Artie closing from the back under Kazushi Kimura. They were followed by Sky’s Not Falling, Master Spy, Derzkii and pacesetter Saturday George (:23.21, :45.82).
“He broke sharp, he broke hard, but we were out-run, out-footed early,” said Stein. “He settled into stride in behind and when I called on him, he really kicked. He dug in, he’s a runner. He’s a nice horse.”
Following up a victory in the Animal Kingdom Stakes in late March at Turfway Park, Outadore is now two-for-two to start his sophomore season. Owned by Breeze Easy LLC, the Kentucky-bred gave way to finish third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last year and now has four wins from six career starts and more than a half-million dollars in purse earnings.
Live Thoroughbred racing action resumes, without spectators, on Thursday as the racing schedule expands to its regular rotation of four days per week. Post time for the eight-race program is 1:20 p.m.