Phantom Light Shines in Dominion Day
Updated: Wednesday, July 2, 2003 2:42 PM
Edited from track reports
Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 9:47 PM
Like father, like son. Phantom Light was impressive in Tuesday's Dominion Day Stakes at Woodbine, winning the 1 1/4-mile event by four lengths while equaling the track record his father, Alphabet Soup, set seven years ago in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Classic.
Trained by Dan Vella and owned by Stronach Stables, Phantom Light, a four-year-old colt, seized the lead from the outset of the Dominion Day and never looked back, crossing the wire in a sizzling 2:01.15 over a main track rated as "fast."
"It was a great race, we've always liked this horse," said Vella, of this year's Eclipse Stakes champion. "Everything came together today. What can you say?"
Ridden by jockey Todd Kabel, Phantom Light went through fractions of :23.21 and :46.51, before widening his advantage as the field rounded the final turn. With a quarter of a mile remaining, Kabel, who now has a colony-best 11 stakes wins on the season, had his recruit well in hand.
In the final stages of the two-turn tilt, the veteran jockey, who sits atop the Woodbine standings through June 30, had plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
"He was running so smoothly for me," said Kabel, who won four races on Monday's card at Woodbine. "When I hit the quarter-pole, I had a lot of horse underneath me. There was no way anybody was going to catch me. He was just full of run."
Vella was equally thrilled with the effort, especially after the Ontario-bred's last start, a dull fifth-place finish at the Toronto oval on June 7. "Every horse and every person has a bad day and it just didn't work out for him on that day. He's a very aggressive horse and as he developed and got better this year, we felt that he'd be a top handicap horse."
Phantom Light, who earned $135,600 for the victory, returned $14.90, $7.50 and $5.00 across the board, combining with Changeintheweather ($4.70, $3.60) for a $79.50 exacar. Dance To Destiny ($5.20) completed the $338.20 trifecta.
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