Casse Caps Big Woodbine Weekend With Two Stakes Wins – BloodHorse.com

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Icon 10월 18, 2021

Art of Almost earns her first stakes win in the Ontario Matron at Woodbine
Trainer Mark Casse put an exclamation point on a remarkable Woodbine weekend by sending out Art of Almost  and Skygaze  to a 1-2 finish in the CA$150,300 (US$120,510) Ontario Matron Stakes (G3).
The Ontario Matron, a 1 1/16-mile Tapeta race for fillies and mares, attracted a field of six and followed Sunday's featured Cup and Saucer Stakes, which also saw Casse send out the top two finishers in God of Love  and runner-up Fast Feet . Woodbine's leading trainer saddled nine winners over the weekend, including three in stakes. 
"I wanted to get an outside run," said jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson after guiding Art of Almost to her 1 1/4-length victory. "She can be a little quirky out of the one hole and I was looking to position myself where I was in range, but could also work my way to the outside so that I could just get her going around the turn." 
D. J. Stable's Art of Almost, a daughter of Dansili , is the second career Ontario Matron winner for Casse, who captured the 2013 edition with Sisterly Love . Wilson previously won the Ontario Matron with Miss Concerto in 2006. Art of Almost was Wilson's third stakes winner of the current meeting. 
In the CA$251,200 ($201,416) Cup and Saucer for 2-year-olds foaled in Canada, 7-2 choice Fast Feet set the early tone in the 1 1/16-mile turf race, but 7-1 stablemate God of Love, a son of Cupid  , finished strongest of all to take the spoils for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber. 
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God of Love wins the Cup and Saucer Stakes Sunday, October 10, 2021 at Woodbine
Photo: Woodbine/Michael Burns Photo

God of Love wins the Cup and Saucer Stakes at Woodbine

Fast Feet, bred and owned by Barber, arrived at the Cup and Saucer off an impressive first-time out win in September, and looked sharp again, taking his 10 rivals through an opening quarter of :25:53, as Mentoring  kept close tabs on the leader, with Dancin in Da’nile  following in third. God of Love, with Rafael Hernandez aboard, was well back in the pack, racing ninth. 
After methodically picking off his rivals one-by-one, God of Love set his sights on his stablemate and began to carve into the former's lead, going on to secure a 1 3/4-length victory in a time of 1:47.86 on a yielding E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
"I know the turf is soft and we didn't want to be stuck behind too many horses, but he refused to go early," Hernandez said. "He said, 'Nah.' He was staying back, so I said we will try to make it in one run. I put him in gear, and he gave one run, and he came flying down the lane." 
It was the sixth Cup and Saucer crown for Casse and his third straight.  
In the CA$155,100 ($124,359) Durham Cup Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds and older, Special Forces  rallied from last of five to edge 2019 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Sir Winston , another Casse trainee, by a half-length.

Special Forces wins the Durham Cup Stakes Sunday, October 10, 2021 at Woodbine
Photo: Woodbine/Michael Burns Photo

Special Forces scores in the Durham Cup Stakes at Woodbine

In a field that also featured Mighty Heart , Canada's reigning Horse of the Year, and graded stakes winner Tap It to Win , Special Forces earned his first victory since his November 2019 win in the Autumn Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.
Owned by trainer Kevin Attard and Soli Mehta, the 6-year-old Candy Ride   gelding did not race last year but when he's on the track he's consistent as he's won or placed in 12 straight races dating back to 2018. 
"We had to be very patient with him. Obviously, the COVID season kind of hampered his chances of getting back last year, but we elected to kind of back off and give him the rest of the year off," Attard said. "This horse was probably one of the better older horses on the grounds here in 2019."
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