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Breeders Cup Wrapup
Jockey Rafael Hernandez celebrates aboard Skywire after winning the Autumn Stakes
Woodbine on Saturday hosted two graded stakes on the Tapeta main track with potential Sovereign Award implications in the older horse divisions. Conditions were unusually "warm" for early November in southern Ontario with partly cloudy skies and a high temperature of 21 C (70 F). Although there were no stakes on the turf today, both courses were rated "firm" with the Taylor at GoingStick 11.1 and the inner almost "hard" at 12.8. The connections of owner Gary Barber, trainer Mark Casse, and jockey Rafael Hernandez swept the two stakes on the afternoon, while Casse and Hernandez also won the 5th race, a $101,200 allowance race on the turf. With his 3 wins on the card, Casse, who is in the Racing Halls of Fame in both Canada and the USA, is just 3 wins away from joining the 3000-win club as a trainer.
Down the stretch in the Autumn Stakes.
Jockey Patrick Husbands sent Salute with Honor to the lead first time by through fractions of 24.21, 48.10, and 1:11.85 while pressed by 10-1 Armistice Day and stalked by Vanzzy. Turning for home the favorite tired allowing Armistice Day to gain the lead through 1 mile in 1:36.42. Skywire, 4th early under Rafael Hernandez, came out for room and rallied wide to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:42.70. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 9-1 Timeskip third, while favorite Salute With Honor tired badly to finish last beaten 8 1/4 lengths.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Skywire Hernandez 6.70 3.40 2.30 3 Armistice Day Moran 5.90 3.50 2 Timeskip Stein 3.90 Winning Time: 1:42.70 $1 Exacta 5-3 19.95 $1 Trifecta 5-3-2 53.35 $1 Superfecta 5-3-2-4 117.20
Left: Skywire heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Rafael Hernandez said, "Last time, we were stuck inside and by the time he was clear and started running, it was too late, but today I made sure he had a clear path the whole way and you see the results. Every time he switches leads, he gives you another gear. When he switched leads, I thought, that's it. If they're going to beat me, they have to come running because my horse was running."
Right: Skywire heads back to the barn after the race. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 3 seconds, and 0 thirds in 14 starts, earning $392,657 for owners Gary Barber and Lucio Tucci.
Left: Second place finisher Armistice Day heads out to the track before the race. The Barbara Minshall trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 17 starts, earning $225,695 for owners Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins.
Right: Third place finisher Timeskip in the post parade. The Renee Kierans trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 7 seconds, and 11 thirds in 32 starts, earning $258,993 for owner Wallace Standarbreds Inc.
Left: Last place finisher and beaten favorite Salute With Honor returns after the race. The Mark Casse trainee has a record of 7 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 20 starts, earning $303,177 for owner-breeder Live Oak Plantation.
Right: The horses break from the gate for the Autumn Stakes
Heavenly Curlin wins the Maple Leaf Stakes
Jockey Juan Crawford sent 40-1 Auntie Katherine to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.93 and 48.79 while pressed by 10-1 Juliana and stalked by 7-1 Elizabeth Way. On the far turn Auntie Katherine tired allowing Juliana to inherit the front through 3/4 in 1:13.04 and 1 mile in 1:37.93. Turning for home, Heavenly Curlin, 8th early under Rafael Hernandez, swept to the front 5 wide through 9f in 1:50.81. Kept to task by Hernandez, Heavenly Curlin drew off to win by 5 3/4 lengths over late-running favorite Art of Almost in 2:03.24. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 19-1 Peace Seeker third.
Left: Heavenly Curlin in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Rafael Hernandez said, "There was too much speed in the race, so the main thing was getting her relaxed. We just sat behind [Art of Almost] and when we turned for home, I just put her in the clear. She was doing her thing and just rolling down the lane."
Right: Heavenly Curlin heads back to the barn after the race. The Mark Casse trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 5 starts, earning $127,762 for owners Gary Barber and John Oxley.
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Art of Almost arrives at the unsaddling area after the race. The Roger Attfield trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 5 seconds, and 4 thirds in 18 starts, earning $227,461 for owners Frederick Seitz, Jon Kelly, Danny Ward, and Theodore Folkerth.
Right: Third place finisher Peace Seeker heads out to the track before the race. She improved her record to 4 wins, 5 seconds, and 5 thirds in 25 starts, earning $158,119 for owner-trainer Nicholas Nozowenko.
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