Canadian-bred Numerous Times remained undefeated, winning a three-way photo to decide the victor and then surviving an inquiry to win the Atto Mile (Can-IT) Sunday at Woodbine. Under Patrick Husbands, the 4-year-old son of Numerous completed the distance in course-record time of 1:32.79 on firm turf.
Affirmed Success moved to the lead at the top of the stretch, then repulsed a challenge from Slew Valley, before getting nipped at the wire by Numerous Times. Numerous Times finished a short nose in front of Affirmed Success. Quiet Resolve closed in tandem with the winner and finished third, a nose behind Affirmed Success.
After the race, Todd Kabel, who rode Quiet Resolve, claimed foul against Husbands over what he believed was interference at the head of the stretch, but the claim was disallowed.
"Todd did what he had to do," said Husbands, who received a congratulatory handshake from Kabel after hitting the wire. "I told the stewards I had a perfect race and didn't trouble anybody."
Added Kabel: "Turning for home, Patrick backed me out. We made contact and that's why I claimed foul."
Irish Prize finished fourth, three-quarters of a length behind Quiet Resolve and a half-length clear of Slew Valley. Brahms came home another length back in sixth, followed by Dawson's Legacy, Kimberlite Pipe, Blast of Storm, City West, Red Sea, Alea Iacta Est, pacesetter Wake At Noon, and Hard Currency.
The race marks the second time in less than a year Husbands has factored in a Canadian grade I race settled by a photo. In last year's Canadian International (Can-IT), Husbands and 13-1 longshot Williams News lost by a nose to Mutafaweq.
Numerous Times, who is owned by a six-person partnership headed up by Robert Harvey of Mississauga, Ontario, kept his perfect record intact by winning his sixth race in his first stakes start. Last month at Woodbine, the bay son of the Theatrical mare Dramatical won a seven-furlong allowance test. The Sid Attard trainee had yet to race beyond sprint distances prior to the Atto Mile. Numerous Times is now four for four on turf after winning his first two career starts on dirt.
The fact Numerous Times even ran Sunday was amazing given that the horse first had to survive a life-threatening illness last winter. In November, Numerous Times was rushed to the University of Guelph's veterinary clinic with an intestinal infection that required surgery.
Two weeks after the operation, Numerous Times came down with another infection. After fighting off that threat, the horse was then diagnosed with colic. By the time Numerous Times had successfully overcome his various medical ailments, he had lost 350 pounds.
"This horse was the closest thing to death that you'd want to get," Harvey said. "I looked at him and he was standing there and the doctors said, `Listen, he doesn't have enough strength and if he goes down, he's not coming back.'
"And I'm there looking at him and balling my eyes out. But I talked to him and he didn't go down. He came back and look at what he did today."
Sent off at 7-1, Numerous Times returned $15.40, $5.90, and $5.20. Affirmed Success paid $4.50 and $3.20. Quiet Resolve paid $7 to show. The winning exacta combination paid $98.90. (Chart, Equibase