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TORONTO, ON – Earle Mack homebred Mr Ritz successfully defended his title while taking the field gate to wire yet again in Sunday’s $125,000 Seagram Cup Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.
Breaking very well from post 2 under Patrick Husbands as the 6/5 favorite, Mr Ritz set the tempo heading into the clubhouse turn while Explode kept close watch on his right hip.
Running relatively unpressured, Mr Ritz posted opening fractions of :24.28, :47.95, and 1:18.87, then straightened for home still on top.
Cooler Mike made a daring three-wide bid in the far turn to challenge for the lead, and Avie’s Flatter was gearing up just behind him with his own challenge, but nobody was catching the bettors’ choice.
The Josie Carroll-trained Mr Ritz kicked away in the stretch before crossing 2 lengths victorious in a final time of 1:43.28 for the 1 1/16-mile fast synthetic route.
“When he made the lead, I was a little worried with (Explode) pressuring him, but he was so relaxed,” Carroll said. “You could tell he was very relaxed, and then we he got a :24 (quarter), I said, ‘You know what, they’re not going to catch him today.’”
Skywire made a late stretch move along the inside to get up for second by a 1/2-length over Cooler Mike, with Avie’s Flatter another 4 lengths back in fourth.
Jungle Fighter, Tiz a Slam, Perfect Tapatino, and Explode completed the order of finish.
Mr Ritz’s win was a sharp return to form after finishing third in the July 4 Eclipse Stakes (G2), his 2020 debut. The British-bred 5-year-old Oasis Dream horse improved his record to 13-6-3-2 with $471,447 earned.
“I was a little bit disappointed (in his season’s debut), but he definitely got a little tired,” Carroll said. “He needed that race, he had all winter off, and it showed a little bit. We thought he was very, very tight – he had been excelling in his works – but there’s nothing like a race to really tighten him up, especially at this level of competition.”
Mr Ritz returned $4.60 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.70 to show. Skywire back $3.60 to place and $3.10 to show, while Cooler Mike paid $8.90 to show.
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