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Skywire Makes the Grade in Eclipse
Credit: Michael Burns Photo

Skywire Makes the Grade in Eclipse

TORONTO, ON – Gary Barber and Lucio Tucci’s Skywire earned his graded stripes Saturday with a driving stretch run to win the $175,000 Eclipse Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.

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Skywire exited slowly from post 6 under Rafael Hernandez as the second-longest shot on the board at 17/1 and trailed early on. His Mark Casse stablemate Uncle Bull set the pace, posting relatively slow fractions of :25.16, :48.32, and 1:12.17.

Scooting up along the rail through the far turn to be within range of the leaders, Skywire tipped out near the top of the stretch and commenced a rally to the front.

Surpasing new leader Avie’s Flatter in mid-stretch, he pulled away to win by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:44.12 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast synthetic surface.

“You can’t worry about (the odds) when you’ve got Casse in the race,” said Hernandez, who visited the winner’s circle five times on Saturday, including the Queenston Stakes one race prior. “He put him in there because he knows he belongs and he showed up. As soon as I put him clear, he just turned on and kept going.”

Though unable to withstand the winner’s late charge, Avie’s Flatter was 2 1/2 lengths ahead of the 3/5 favorite Mr Ritz, who held command at the top of the stretch but quickly yielded it to Avie’s Flatter.

Journeyman, Uncle Bull, Solidify, and Cooler Mike completed the order of finish.

Skywire’s win was his first since taking the 2019 Wando Stakes over the local course and improved his overall record to 10-4-1-0. The Ontario-bred 4-year-old Afleet Alex gelding has now earned $249,827 since being purchased for $45,000 as an unraced juvenile.

Skywire returned $36.10 to win, $13.20 to place, and $4.40 to show. Avie’s Flatter brought back $5.70 to place and $2.90 to show, while Mr Ritz paid $2.10 to show.

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