Court Vision will have a fun ride home after beating the odds and winning the $1-million Woodbine Mile on a beautiful Sunday evening in Toronto.
Jockey Robby Albarado kept the horse to the outside and far enough from morning line favourite The Usual Q.T. to cross the finish line at 1:34.62.
The 5-year-old was second favourite after the draw on Thursday, but its recent training in Saratoga seemed to help it come through a winner.
“He ran an awful nice race today,” Albarado said, to Woodbine TV after the race. “He’s just a cool horse to ride, an easy horse. We both came off a long layoff today and it worked out well for us.
“I know he’s been off awhile, but he was training [well] at Saratoga this summer, so I figured if I gave him a good trip, he’s gonna come home and he did.
“[Trainer Rick] Dutrow did a great job getting him ready for today.”
With this win, the multiple Grade 1 winner raises his career earnings to $2,549,751 US.
Owner Mike Iavarone did not feel confident prior to the race because of some bad results from past visits to the track.
“I kind of felt that this race wasn’t going to work out for us,” said Iavarone. “I mean we’ve come here now a fourth different time.
“We came here once we were 1-2 with no luck and we figured this time we’d come in and hope for the best, and see what happens.
“And I thought we were in a little bit of trouble in the stretch, and I couldn’t find him, and all of the sudden he exploded and scared the heck out of me and I knew we were alive.”
Dutrow said the weather conditions always play an important part in Court Vision’s performance.
“I think the weather has got a lot to do with his game, too,” said Dutrow. “It’s a nice cool day. The last time we won at Belmont it was very hot.
“And that’s why we tried to back off him during the summer time. This is his game today, he showed up.”
The main event also featured 4-year-old The Usual Q.T. who rallied during the race but could not hold on in the final yards.
Jockey Victor Espinoza seemed to be happy with the performance during the race but accepted that it was not enough to beat Court Vision’s sprint in the final strides.
“We just got beat today,” said Espinoza, after the race. “I got a perfect trip. Down the lane, I switched him to the outside. He ran his race. I knew somebody was coming.
“The wire was further and further. I didn’t know who it was. It’s one of those things.”