Star Contender, confidently ridden by Patrick Husbands, took command near the top of the lane and cruised home a 3 1/4-length winner in the $252,028 Cup and Saucer Stakes on yielding turf at Woodbine Oct. 20 (VIDEO) .
The 5-2 favorite in the field of nine Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, is trained by Mark Casse for owner John C. Oxley.
The 2-year-old son of Henny Hughes out of the Unbridled's Song mare Sanibel Star survived a three-horse claim of foul initiated at the top of the lane when front-running Tex, ridden by Luis Contreras, edged off the rail into his path, causing Star Contender to come over in the path of Tormenta Fiera and rider Justin Stein.
Tex, who finished second in the 1 1/16-mile Canadian turf classic, was demoted to third position by the stewards for the infraction. Third-place finisher Tormenta Fiere was elevated to second.
Tex and Open Ice Hit set splits of :23.83 and :48.54 down the backstretch of a yielding E.P. Taylor Turf Course as Star Contender stalked comfortably from sixth position. Husbands edged Star Contender into contention through the turn, and despite the incident with Tex and ducking in at the eighth pole, was ridden out in 1:45.94.
"I was just stalking Luis, and his horse switched leads early in the turn. I nearly caught his heels and it caused a chain reaction from Luis into me into Justin," Husbands said.
Bred in Ontario, Canada, by William D. Graham, Star Contender banked $150,975 in victory while improving his record to two wins and a third in three starts.
Star Contender paid $7.40, $3.70, and $3.20; Tormenta Fiera returned $4.30 and $3; and Tex paid $4.30 to show.