Eugene Melnyk's homebred Marchfield rallied from last at the quarter pole to win the Aug. 5 $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, the third jewel of Canada's Triple Crown contested on the turf at Woodbine.
The bay son of A.P. Indy completed the 1 1/2-mile distance over a "firm" E. P. Taylor Turf Course in 2:29.50, besting Twilight Meteor and Chris DeCarlo by a length. The 48-1 shot It's Like This finished third under jockey Tyler Pizarro, 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner.
It was the first stakes score for the Ontario-bred Marchfield, who was also attempting the turf for the first time.
Mark Casse trained Marchfield to the victory, while jockey Patrick Husbands celebrated his third Breeders' Stakes tally. He also won with 2003 Triple Crown winner Wando and with Royal Challenger last year.
"It was a fast pace today and he relaxed," said Husbands, of the colt, who finished sixth and fifth, respectively, in the Queen's Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes, the first two jewels in the Canadian Triple Crown series. "The blinkers had him a little keyed up the first couple of races. We took them off today and he relaxed."
Casse praised Husbands for Marchfield's biggest effort to date.
Husbands fell off a horse during an Aug. 5 morning training work, but he was still able to ride. "He's a great rider," Casse said. "I was like, 'Okay. Patrick I hope you know what you're doing.' At the half-mile pole, I could see our colt starting to get in gear. I thought, 'You know what, he's going to be right there.' Patrick won this race. He sat back and he rode a great race. I don't think there's anybody better."
Casse feels Marchfield has a big future on the lawn. "This is what he's bred to do, and he showed he could do it."
Mike Fox, the Queen's Plate winner, finished fifth. Prince of Wales victor Alezzandro disappointed, finishing sixth as the 7-5 favorite.
"He was rank with me early and it just didn't work out for us," jockey Todd Kabel said.
Now a two-time winner, Marchfield, who broke his maiden in his 3-year-old debut May 6 at the Toronto oval, also has four runner-up finishes on his resume.
Sent off as the second choice, Marchfield returned $9.30, $4.80, 3.90, combining with Twilight Meteor ($5.40, $4.10) for a $46.40 exacta. It's Like This ($10.90) rounded out a trifecta of $709. Fourth-place finisher Walk With Kings completed a $1 superfecta worth $3,048.05.
Top Speed, Storm the Castle and Ice Bear completed the order. It's a Danzig scratched.