Saturday's weather produced the chills, but Chris's Bad Boy provided the thrills, courtesy of a record-breaking effort at Woodbine.
Last time out, the son of Marquetry just missed breaking the Toronto oval's track record at six furlongs in the prep race for Saturday's $137,375 Kennedy Road Stakes. On this day, Chris's Bad Boy was faster and much the best.
The 6-year-old gelding won his fourth-straight race, shrugging off an early speed duel with two rivals to cross the wire in 1.08.05, 12/100ths of a second quicker than Great Defender's former record, set in the 1999 edition of the Kennedy Road.
Rider Jono Jones and Chris's Bad Boy, a seven-time winner in 2003, battled outside of Open Concert and Wild Whiskey for the early lead, the tightly-bunched trio blazing an opening quarter-mile clip in :21.45. In spite of the brisk pace, Jones, who picked up his eighth stakes win on the season, kept the pressure squarely on his rivals.
After scorching a half-mile in :43.18, Chris's Bad Boy, in front by 1 1/2-lengths, began to put some real estate between himself and the field, widening his advantage with each stride. As the eight-horse field rounded the final turn, Chris's Bad Boy was in firm control. The chestnut finished 6 3/4-lengths in front of Davids Expectation and My Lucky Strike on a "good" track.
Double Sovereign Award nominee (Champion Older Male, Champion Sprinter) Forever Grand, finished sixth.
"He (Chris's Bad Boy) did his best," said Jones, who netted his first Kennedy Road crown. "Every time I've ridden this horse, he's been better and better. Vito (trainer Armata) has done a perfect job with this horse the whole year."
In victory, the Kentucky-bred earned $82,425 for Alpine Stable Limited. It was the 17th win in 39 starts for Chris's Bad Boy, pushing his career earnings to $525,038.
He paid $4.80, $3.60 and $3.00 across the board, combining with Davids Expectation ($12.10, $6.20) for a $36.10 exacta. My Lucky Strike ($4.10) capped a $297.20 trifecta.