Stormy Lord proved too classy for his rivals as he successfully defended his title in the $250,000 PTHA President's Cup, a race that was marred by a three-horse spill on the turf at Philadelphia's Parx Racing Sept. 15 (VIDEO).
Achilles Quest, a 57-1 shot ridden by apprentice Adam Brown, was racing in fourth position in the field of 10 when the 5-year-old gelding clipped heels and fell near the three-eighths pole. Two horses, E Z Led, ridden by Edwin Rivera, and Yes Yes Ohyes, with J.D. Acosta aboard, both struck the fallen horse and also fell. Two others, Roman Tiger and Hello Lover, were forced to take up avoiding the spill.
There was no word from Parx on the condition of the horses or riders. Following a stewards' inquiry, Freud's Honour was disqualified for interference and placed last.
Daily Racing Form reported that Brown sustained a concussion, while Acosta separated a shoulder and Rivera broke a collarbone. The horses involved were apparently not injured.
Stormy Lord, rated in third by James McAleney while about three lengths off the pace, avoided the trouble while racing three paths wide. He launched his bid on pacesetter Kara's Orientation and 5-2 favorite Cantonic midway on the far turn and quickly drew off in the stretch. Stormy Lord held sway by 2 3/4 lengths under mild handling.
The final time for the 1 1/8-mile event over a "good" turf course was 1:53 flat.
Freud's Honour, ridden by Paco Lopez, was originally second before the disqualification. Kara's Orientation, with Kendrick Carmouche aboard, was moved up to second with Nibiru's Return and Ricardo Chiappe placed third. Cantonic, Roman Tiger, and Hello Lover completed the order of those who finished.
Woodbine-based Stormy Lord earned his first win in six starts this year for trainer Ian Black. David Willmot's Kinghaven Farms Ontario homebred was sent off as the 3-1 second choice.
The 5-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic out of the Meadowlake mare Lady Auchamore won last year's President's Cup by 1 1/4 lengths at odds of nearly 10-1. With this year's score, the chestnut gelding improved his career record to 9-7-1 in 27 starts with earnings of $1,153,686.
Carrying 116 pounds, Stormy Lord paid $8.60, $4.80, $3.60. Kara's Orientation, who carved soft fractions of :25.37, :49.85, and 1:14.97 while leading by up to two lengths, returned $5.80 and $4.40. The two paired for a $44.60 exacta. Nibiru's Return, sent off at 57-1, paid $12.80 to show.