James Street, defending winner of the Autumn Stakes, passed Alpha Bettor in the stretch of the Oct. 6 Durham Cup Stakes (Can-III) last time out, finishing 1 1/4 lengths in front of that rival. The score was his first in seven starts since taking the Autumn last year for trainer Josie Carroll, who will give a leg up to Patrick Husbands as part of a 121-pound assignment. James Street, a 6-year-old son of El Pradowho also counts the 2011 Seagram Cup (Can-III) among his seven victories, departs post 6.
Alpha Bettor, a 5-year-old by Alphabet Soup, won the Seagram Cup in 2012 and 2013 and took the May 12 Eclipse Stakes (Can-II). The Durham Cup was a good rebound for him off a 10th in the Sept. 8 Presque Isle Mile Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, the first time in 24 starts that trainer Daniel Vella had run him outside Canada. Alpha Bettor shoulders highweight of 123 pounds and will be ridden by Justin Stein from post 3.
Also exiting the Durham Cup are Chiefswood Stable's third-place finisher Awesome Overture and Windhaven Farms' Peyton, who was fourth. Awesome Overture, an Ontario-bred 4-year-old son of Awesome Again who is trained by Paul Attard, was also third in the Seagram Cup. Peyton, an Ontario-bred 4-year-old gelding by Tale of the Cat, was fourth in the Seagram Cup and came closest to graded stakes victory when he ran second in the Valedictory (Can-II) at the end of 2012 for trainer Michael Doyle.
The 1-2 finishers of the Oct. 20 Bunty Lawless Stakes at Woodbine will step up in company in this spot, Alex Fehr's winner Ultimate Destiny and 2011 Prince of Wales Stakes winner Pender Harbour still seeking graded status.
Pender Harbour, who took the 2011 and 2012 runnings of the Bunty Lawless Stakes, races for D. Andrews, S. Lazaruk, and Bob and Roberta Giffin. He was runner-up in the 2011 Autumn Stakes but in two graded starts this year—the TVG King Edward Stakes (Can-IIT) and the Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT)—finished well off the board. Dropped back to more modest placement by trainer Michael De Paulo, the 5-year-old Philanthropist gelding has been knocking at the door, that runner-up finish to Ultimate Destiny coming by just a neck.
Ultimate Destiny, a 4-year-old gelding by Dance to Destiny, finished three-quarters of a length behind Alpha Bettor after conceding the lead in the Seagram Cup. However, he was declared a non-starter because his gate opened prematurely, giving him an unfair advantage. He has won four times and has also run a quartet of seconds in his past eight starts, five of them in stakes company.
Charles Fipke's allowance winner Perfect Afleet remains in the graded ranks, but the 7-year-old Perfect Soul homebred failed to crack the top three in a trio of starts in the Seagram Cup, Dominion Day Stakes (Can-II), and Eclipse Stakes this year for Roger Attfield. That trainer also has allowance winner Bowman's Causeway, a 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway he owns in partnership with William Werner.
Completing the field are Augustin Stable's allowance winner Occasional View in his first start for trainer Ken McPeek, and Richard Santulli's allowance winner Mezzano for trainer Alan Goldberg.
$150,000 Autumn Stakes (Can-II, Race 8, approximate post time 4:26 p.m. EST), 3YOs & Up, 1 1/16 miles (all weather track)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Peyton (ON), L. Contreras, 117, M J Doyle
2. Mezzano (KY), O. Moreno, 117, A E Goldberg
3. Alpha Bettor (KY), J. Stein, 123, D J Vella
4. Ultimate Destiny (ON), E.R. Da Silva, 119, A Fehr
5. Perfect Afleet (KY), T. Pizarro, 117, R L Attfield
6. James Street (KY), P. Husbands, 121, J Carroll
7. Awesome Overture (ON), J.M. Campbell, 117, P Attard
8. Occasional View (ON), A. Garcia, 117, K G McPeek
9. Pender Harbour (ON), C.Sutherland Kruse, 117, M P De Paulo
10. Bowman's Causeway (ON), E. Wilson, 117, R L Attfield