Eight-year-old Parose, making his 74th career start, captured Saturday's $167,700 Woodbine Slots Cup (gr. III) in a thrilling finish.
Five horses were separated by 1 ¼ lengths.
For Parose, it was career win number 16. For jockey Todd Kabel, it was stakes score number 20, representing the fourth time since 1995 that the Manitoba native has reached the 20 stakes win plateau (28 in 1995, 20 in 1997 and 21 in 1998). No other Woodbine-based rider has won 20 added-money races in a single season, over that period of time.
Owned by John Atto and trained by Alex McPherson, Parose also had reason to be proud, as he boosted his career earnings to $724,242, and continued to mark himself as one of Woodbine's most consistent and durable warriors.
The son of Parlay Me was rated by Kabel well behind the front-runners. Settling outside of rivals as Captain Wallstreet and B.D. Victor battled on the lead through fractions of :23.12, :46.71 and 1:11.65, the Alberta-bred was asked to engage the leaders around the far-turn. Under urging, Parose took a narrow lead in mid-stretch, and held off Attest, who battled gamely along the rail.
Parose won by a half-length in a final time of 1:45.10 over a track rated fast.
Moments before the race, the complexion of the event changed when the commission veterinarian behind the starting gate scratched race favorite Dream Launcher.
Parose became the 3-to-2 post-time favorite, and did not disappoint his backers.
"He left the gate sharp with me," said Kabel. "He was on the bridle with me the whole way and he dug in gamely. I was a little concerned when I saw (Attest) get through on the rail in the last minute, but he hung on and fought back. He ran a great race."
According to McPherson, Parose likely benefited from the late scratching of Dream Launcher, who defeated Parose in the Durham Cup the last time the two horses met.
"I was scared to death of Dream Launcher," said McPherson. "All in all it was a tremendous performance by both the horse and rider. We're very happy."
Parose returned $5.20, $2.90, $2.50 combining with Attest ($3.50, $2.40) for a $22.20 exacta. Divine Luck ($4.30) completed the $161.90 trifecta.