Eccentric Foils Sky Conquerer's Bid for King Edward Repeat

(Edited Woodbine report)

Eccentric captured Monday's dramatic renewal of the $240,800 King Edward Breeders' Cup (Can-II) (VIDEO) over Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

The 6-year-old Roger Attfield trainee rallied from off the pace and spoiled the homecomings of two local stakes winners -- Sky Conqueror and Jambalaya, who finished second and third, respectively.

The 1 1/8-mile score was the Gary Tanaka-owned gelding's second straight stakes score over the Woodbine lawn as he becomes the first horse since Slew Valley to sweep the Connaught and King Edward.

The time of the race was 1:46.83.

It appeared late-running Sky Conqueror, last year's King Edward winner, had tagged the winner in the shadow of the wire, but Eccentric poked his nose in front just in the nick of time.

Winning jockey David Clark wasn't certain of the result.

"I wasn't quite sure," said Clark. "I knew I had the inside horse (Jambalaya), from the eighth-pole in. The other horse came late. I wasn't quite sure because he was a little further out from me. He deserved to win, he ran hard."

Attfield's first impression of the finish was more definite.

"I was late getting down for the photo because I was upstairs and I was talking to the owner. I said, 'We just got beat.' I saw (the outrider) leading him back so I thought I'd better come down fast."

The victory is the third stakes score for Eccentric since the North American phase of his career began last fall. The chestnut son of Most Welcome also won the Fayette (gr. III) over Keeneland's Polytrack on October 28.

"God bless him. He's a lovely old horse. He's a trying horse," said Attfield. "He runs on Polytrack, he runs on turf. I thought the turf might be a little firm for him today, but he got it done anyway."

The British-bred has now banked $754,499 over his 36-start career.

Eccentric's victory closed out a wild weekend for Attfield, who watched Red Birkin lose Saturday's Boiling Spring Stakes at Monmouth Park via disqualification. On Sunday, Palladio finished third in the Dominion Day.

"It was an interesting weekend. Going in, I said to the crew, we could win three stakes this weekend," said Attfield.

Eccentric returned $11.60, $5.00, $2.90 and combined with Sky Conqueror ($3.10, $2.10) for a $34.80 exactor. Jambalaya ($2.20) rounded out a triactor worth $65.60.

(Chart, Equibase)

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