Rejuvenated Patrick Husbands brought 4-5 favourite Kingsport with a flying late run to win the CAN$100 000 Steady Growth Stakes and underscore a successful weekend at prestigious Woodbine.
Back to full fitness after sustaining serious injury last November in a fall, the celebrated Barbadian jockey exhibited all of his class on Saturday as he partnered with the Sid Attard-trained seven-year-old bay to collar the three-year-old and upward by a neck in a time of one minute, 43:35 seconds.
Three-to-one chance Cooler Mike, who led into the final furlong, finished second while Thor’s Rocket, who challenged throughout, crossed the line third.
Husbands and Kingsport trailed early in the contest in race three going a mile and sixteenth, and along with long-shot Argentium was nearly seven lengths off the pace set by Cooler Mike, Thor’s Rocket and Nipigon, who engaged in a three-way battle for the lead down the backstretch.
The trio led the field into the stretch before Cooler Mike emerged as the front-runner but Kingsport surged late to get by at the wire.
“He left there sharp. He relaxed going in the first turn and I was just smiling seeing three of them going head-to-head,” Husbands said afterwards.
“I got a perfect trip. When I reached about the three-eighths pole, I said, ‘let’s go, boy!’ and he just jumped on the bridle and it was just a matter of time.”
Husbands’s success was one of two on the 11-race card as he also captured race five over a mile with 5-1 choice Hanchy, guiding the four-year-old bay filly to a narrow victory over the three-year-old and upward maiden fillies and mares.
The seven-time Woodbine champions also tasted success on Sunday’s 10-race card, winning race one over a mile and eighth with favourite Niigon’s Bay and race six over a mile with 3-1 bet Zoomer Music.
He lies sixth in the standings on 16 wins from 84 rides, with defending champion Eurico Rosa da Silva top of the charts with 36 wins from 152 outings.