Stealcase surged to the lead in mid-stretch and held on strong to win the Grade 3, $150,000 Ontario Derby, Sunday at Woodbine.
The chestnut son of Lawyer Ron-Steal the Show, trained by Mark Casse
for owner John C. Oxley, settled off the early pace of Gung Ho and
swooped to the lead late, under Patrick Husbands, for a 1 1/4-length
score. Stealcase stopped the clock in 1:50.56.
Gung Ho, with John Velazquez in the irons, led the field into the
first turn in the 1 1/8-mile 'Poly' route with Colleen's Sailor hot on
his heels through an opening quarter in :24.74. Velazquez and Gung Ho
maintained their lead down the backstretch marking a half in :49.96 with
Colleen's Sailor and Ultimate Destiny stalking, and River Rush tucked
in along the rail in fourth position.
Any Given Royal edged into contention through the turn and took on
the front-running Gung Ho as Patrick Husbands and Stealcase launched an
impressive rally for the win. Any Given Royal held on for place in
front of River Rush.
Assistant trainer Kathryn Sullivan was impressed with the colt's
Woodbine debut following a seventh-place effort in the Grade 1 Travers
and a third-place effort in the Grade 1 Haskell, after a troubled trip.
"He's had some bad racing luck," said Sullivan. "He had a really bad
trip in the Haskell. He sort of fell out of the gate. He ran so hard
and for so long that day and he should have done better than third, and
he did great to be third in that race. I'm really glad today that he
finally got the win he deserves.”
Stealcase improved his record to three wins, a second and two thirds
from 11 lifetime starts, while earning his first graded victory.
He paid $6.20, $3.30 and $2.50, combining with Any Given Royal
($4.30, $2.80) for a $23.60 (7-9) exactor. A 7-9-2 (River Rush, $3 to
show) triactor was worth $61.30 while a $1 superfecta [7-9-2-4 (Gung
Ho)] came back $111.55.