Trainers’ race too close to call

December 8, 2017

TORONTO, December 8, 2017 – With a training triple on Friday’s nine-race card, Norm McKnight is tied with perennial leader Mark Casse atop the 2017 Woodbine standings with just two programs remaining in the meet.

Trailing Casse by just two wins heading into the afternoon program, McKnight won the opener with Smart Spree ($4.90), ridden by Luis Contreras for owners Trinity Racing Stables Inc. and Racer’s Edge Inc. With Cheburashka checking in second, it was a 1-2 finish for McKnight, who reached the 500-career win mark.

Trainer Norm McKnight earned his 500th career win with Smart Spree in the Friday opener at Woodbine. (Michael Burns Photo)

McKnight then tied Casse atop the leaderboard courtesy of Friday’s fourth race winner String Bikini ($3.50) and took a narrow lead after Gizmo Jones ($6.30) won the sixth race – both owned by the meet’s leading owner Bruno Schickedanz with top jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva aboard.

However, Casse countered with his only starter on the program in the seventh race, winning with Calumet Farm’s Closer Still ($4.50) in rein to Patrick Husbands.

McKnight and Casse both now have 94 wins as the final weekend of the Thoroughbred meet continues on Saturday and Sunday. First race post time is 1 p.m.

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