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The Great Day Wires the Durham Cup

The Great Day Wires the Durham Cup

TORONTO, ON – Lael Stables’ The Great Day broke well, secured early command, walked the dog, then had just enough left in the tank to out-bob Special Forces and win Saturday’s $125,000 Durham Cup Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.

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Breaking from the rail under Patrick Husbands as the 2/1 second choice, The Great Day quickly asserted command heading into the clubhouse turn. Unopposed early, Husbands slowed the pace down to a crawl, posting fractions of :26.08, :50.43, and 1:14.32.

Off the far turn, the 4/5 favorite Special Forces launched a bid along the outside, and for a moment, his head led the way. The Great Day fought back along the inside and refused to yield, grinding his way back up to the bettors’ choice’s throat latch.

Surging in the shadow of the wire, The Great Day was able to cross with his nose in front in a final time of 1:49.68 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the fast synthetic main track.

“I picked it up from the 1/2-mile, squeezed him a little bit by the 3/8 pole, I got him over to his right lead, and he dug in,” Husbands said. “And when (Special Forces) came, he dug in again, and then about four strides from the wire, he dug back again, so he never gave up.”

Despite missing out in the final jump, Special Forces was over 3 lengths clear of Thor’s Rocket, who necked out Say the Word for third. Aheadbyacentury never factored into the running before completing the order of finish.

Credit: Michael Burns Photo

The Great Day’s win was his first in North America, having won a pair of Group 1s and a Group 2 in his native Argentina before shipping north to join trainer Arnaud Delacour for the 2019 season. The 5-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday, who was second in July’s Arlington Handicap (G3), improved his career mark to 15-5-6-1 with $338,574 earned.

The Great Day returned $6.90 to win, $2.70 to place, and $2.10 to show. Special Forces brought back $2.30 to place and $2.10 to show, while Thor’s Rocket paid $2.50 to show.

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