TORONTO, ON – Albert Frassetto’s Can’thelpbelieving received a much better trip this time and took full advantage to win Sunday’s Grade 2, $175,000 Sky Classic Stakes at Woodbine.
The 5-year-old gelding finished second last out in the Grade 2 Nijinsky at Woodbine but spent most of that race unable to find clear running room and ran out of time to catch the winner, Dragon Bay. Facing that same rival today, jockey Joe Bravo put Can’thelpbelieving in a stalking position while Dragon Bay and Starship Jubilee cut fractions of :25.91, :50.92, 1:15.68, and 1:39.74.
Exiting the far turn, Bravo swung Can’thelpbelieving out three-wide into the stretch, catching and passing the leaders at the 3/16 pole before driving away in the clear. The Graham Motion trainee completed the 1 3/8-mile turf event in 2:14.95.
“It makes my job a lot easier when Graham ran the best horse this afternoon,” Bravo said. “It made my job easy and he’s a pro. He’s kind of like a barn pet because he has that personality of just laid back, relaxed, takes everything in stride, but when he needs to, he kind of jumps into it, like he seemed to at the top of the lane today.”
Noble Thought closed late for second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Pumpkin Rumble appeared to be empty at the top of the stretch but was able to re-rally in time to take third away from Dragon Bay by a head. Starship Jubilee and Galileo’s Spear completed the order of finish.
The race was Can’thelpbelieving’s second at Woodbine, following the Nijinsky, and was his second career graded stakes victory after taking the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger at Monmouth Park on August 21, 2016. His connections said that he may return to the Toronto turf before the season ends.
“You’ve got a really nice turf program here,” said Jane Buchanan, racing manager for Graham Motion. “We’ll just see how he comes back. I’m pretty sure we’ll probably reconsider coming back up here.”
Can’thelpbelieving returned $4.10 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.40 to show. Noble Thought brought back $6.90 place and $5.10 to show, while Pumpkin Rumble paid $5.60 to show.