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LEXINGTON, KY – McShane Racing’s Stubbins found room in midstretch and shot past Leinster late to win Saturday’s $200,000 Woodford Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (G2).
Breaking from post 4 under Joel Rosario at 7/1 odds, Stubbins took back to the rear and watched as Satellite Storm burst to the early lead. Crossing over his inner foes after breaking from post 8, Satellite Storm set an early uncontested lead through fractions of :21.18 and :44.21.
Off the far turn, it looked like anyone could emerged from the bunched-up field. Rosario gradually tipped Stubbins off of the rail at the top of the stretch while looking for running room. Once clear, the Doug O’Neill trainee dug in and charged after new leader Leinster.
Fighting on late to get up for the lead, Stubbins crossed a length ahead in a final time of 1:01.44 for the 5 1/2-furlong sprint over the firm turf course.
“I tried to stay in (on the rail in the turn),” Rosario said. “I was saving ground, and then, when I had some room, (I) was able to turn him loose.”
Leinster took second over the 7/5 favorite Imprimis, who continuously fought traffic trouble in the stretch and could only begin advancing inside the 1/16 pole. Smart Remark was fourth over Extravagant Kid and Fareeq. Behind them came Win Lion Win, a spent Satellite Storm, and a non-threatening Royal Commish to complete the order of finish.
Seven Trumpets was scratched.
Stubbins’ win was his second in a stakes event, having taken a sloppy off-turf edition of the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita Park in early March. The 3-year-old son of Morning Line, most recently second behind stablemate Legends of War in the Franklin-Simpson Stakes (G3) at Kentucky Downs, now carries a record of 10-4-2-2 with $418,151 earned.
“Today, it looked like there was good speed in front,” Rosario said. “There was good speed at Kentucky Downs, too, but it was a bit different – the horse that won had a tremendous race. (My horse) came running and was a good second. Today, he came running and put in a good run there at the end.”
Stubbins returned $17.20 to win, $7 to place, and $4.40 to show. Leinster brought back $4 to place and $3 to show, while Imprimis paid $2.40 to show.
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