Durham Cup: Pool Play Prevails in Stakes Bow

Durham Cup: Pool Play Prevails in Stakes Bow
Photo: Michael Burns
Will Farish's Pool Play captured his first career stakes event in the gr. III Durham Cup at Woodbine.

Pool Play, making his stakes debut for trainer Mark Casse, charged late to overtake favored Ice Bear, winning the $156,914 Durham Cup (Can-III) (VIDEO) over Woodbine's Polytrack by one length Oct. 4.

Owned by W.S. Farish Jr., the Ontario-bred 4-year-old son of Silver Deputy was guided to victory in the 1 1/8-mile event by Patrick Husbands. He was sent off at odds of 11-1.

Breaking from the rail in the field of eight, Pool Play saved ground in last as Tiz Late went to the front and opened a three-length advantage while Ice Bear and Alezzandro stalked through fractions of :24.37, :48.64 and 1:12.46. Both Gran Estreno, who launched a bid from fourth off the turn, and Alezzandro soon yielded.

Pool Play, who circled the field five wide on the turn for Husbands, drove past the leaders on the outside leaving the furlong pole to get home comfortably in a strong final time of 1:49.24, just .05 off the Polytrack record.

Ice Bear was second by 2 3/4 lengths over Palladio, who rallied along the inside for third. Tiz Late held on for fourth.

Pool Play stepped into stakes company after a first-level allowance win at Woodbine in an off-the-turf race over nine furlongs Aug. 29. After campaigning at Woodbine as a sophomore, the dark bay colt began the 2009 season in Southern California. He ran twice at Santa Anita in allowance company, recording a fourth and a third, before shifting to Keeneland. In an off-the-turf allowance race April 3, he ran sixth as the favorite and was given a five-month freshening after that before resurfacing at Woodbine.

The victory, his third in 11 starts, was worth $95,603 and boosted Pool Play's career earnings to $249,643.

Out of the Cox's Ridge mare Zuri Ridge, Pool Play was bred by Windfields Farm.

Sent off as the second-longest shot in the field, Pool Play carried 118 pounds and paid $25.30, $10.20 and $6.60 while topping a $2 exacta worth $110. Ice Bear, winner of Woodbine's Eclipse Stakes (Can-III) in June, returned $3.40 and $2.60 as the 2-1 favorite. Palladio, Canada's champion 3-year-old of 2005 from the Roger Attfield barn, was $3 to show.

It was a half-length to Tiz Late, who was followed by Alezzandro, Catch the Luck, Gran Estreno and Chief Bear. Marlang was scratched by the stewards.
 

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