Husbands wins Grey Stakes in style at Woodbine
TORONTO, Canada (CMC):
Riding ace Patrick Husbands carved out a dominant ride aboard hot pre-race favourite Golden Hawk to snatch the CND$150,000 Grade III Grey Stakes in style at Woodbine racetrack here on Sunday.
Going off at odds of 3-5, the pair made nearly all the running over the mile and sixteenth trip to slam the two-year-olds by 51/4 lengths in a time of one minute, 43.38 seconds.
"With a small field, you don't want to get trapped on the first turn," the 43-year-old Husbands said. "So I just let him run away from there, and he just pricked his ears. I had everything my way."
Husbands broke the chestnut colt smartly and disputed the lead with Han Sense into the first turn before getting to the front to unleash splits of 24.51 seconds and 48.60 seconds.
Han Sense tracked from second with Night Watchman tucked in behind, and Preemptive Strike and King and his Court bringing up the rear of the small field.
On the final turn, the pace quickened as King and His Court and Night Watchman came to challenge on the outside, and Han Sense along the rails.
But Husbands responded by finally releasing his hold on Golden Hawk, and the colt sprinted away from his rivals under a vigorous hands-ride and reached the wire without a challenger.
The victory was one of two on the 10-race card for Husbands, who also captured race six over six furlongs, partnering with 4-1 chance Heard That to beat the two-year-old maiden fillies by 31/2 lengths.
Husbands is a seven-time Woodbine champion jockey.