TORONTO, ON – Under a perfectly-timed ride from Florent Geroux, the 2-1 favorite Long On Value was able to nail Lady Alexandra three jumps from the wire and score victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Highlander Stakes at Woodbine for trainer Brad Cox and owners Madaket Stables, Ten Strike Racing, and Steve Laymon.
The Highlander is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Long On Value receiving an automatic berth in the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Saturday, November 3.
Breaking cleanly from post 6, Long On Value soon relaxed and saved ground towards the rear while Axtell and Corinthia Knight dueled up front through opening splits of :22.44 and :43.55. Lady Alexandra commenced a move off the far turn and secured command in mid-stretch, but a furious rally was swiftly propelling Long On Value along the outside of several foes. In the shadow of the wire, Long On Value was able to overtake the fast filly before crossing with a neck advantage in a final time of 1:07.13 for the 6-furlong sprint over the turf course.
Holding Gold was able to close late from the rear for third over Abbaa and Belvoir Bay, while Imprimis was a troubled sixth after being squeezed along the rail. Axtell, Ikerrin Road, and Corinthia Knight completed the order of finish. Boreal Spirit was scratched.
Long On Value’s win was his second in as many 2018 starts, following victory in a Churchill Downs overnight stakes at the beginning of June. The 7-year-old intact son of Value Plus improved his career record to 32-9-5-5 with career earnings of $1,136,253. However, as he was not Breeders’ Cup eligible before the race, his connections would need to pay a $100,000 supplemental fee in order for him to enter and compete.
Long On Value returned $6.70 to win, $3.70 to show, and $2.80 to place. Lady Alexandra brought back $6.90 to place and $4.20 to show, while Holding Gold paid $3.10 to show.