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TORONTO, ON – Gary Barber’s Olympic Runner swept three-wide to the front in mid-stretch and kicked clear late to conquer Sunday’s $100,000 King Corrie Stakes at Woodbine.
Leaping skyward when he broke from the rail under Patrick Husbands as the 9/5 second choice, Olympic Runner quickly found himself at the rear of the scratch-shortened four-horse field. Up front, the 4/5 favorite Big Drink of Water posted early fractions of :22.26 and :44.45 while Souper Success applied pressure along his right hip.
Still a handful of lengths behind at the top of the stretch, Olympic Runner began to close with a gold medal-worthy effort. Tipping off the rail in mid-stretch, Olympic Runner swept past the front-runners near the 1/16 pole, then continued to stride away under a hand ride. The Mark Casse trainee crossed 2 1/2 lengths the winner in 1:09.66 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast synthetic surface.
“He was pretty bad again in the gate and I drew the one-hole, but I was lucky we only had three other horses in the gate with me,” Husbands said. “Down the back, I was getting a perfect trip. These guys were clicking along and he was just enjoying himself. At 2 1/2 (furlongs to go), I said, ‘Boy let’s go,’ and he just decided to run. When I straightened up, he switched to his right lead and showed me that I had a lot of horse under me, so I just hand-rode him down the lane.”
Souper Success was able to neck out the bettors’ choice for second, while Corduroy Road never played a factor before completing the order of finish. Hurricane Highway and Trappeze Artist were both listed as stewards’ scratches.
Olympic Runner’s win was his second straight, having won an allowance here just 14 days go. The 3-year-old gelded son of Gio Ponti improved his record to 7-3-0-1 with $120,407 earned.
Olympic Runner returned $5.60 to win and $2.70 to place, while Souper Success paid $2.90 to place. There was no show betting.
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