Florida Won wins the Seagram Cup Stakes.

Florida Won wins the Seagram Cup Stakes.

Michael Burns

Florida Won Rallies to Capture Seagram Cup

Colt last won in September in the Ontario Derby at Woodbine.

Live Oak Plantation's Florida Won returned to his winning form with a fast-closing victory in the $150,000 Seagram Cup Stakes (Can-III) Aug. 2 at Woodbine.

Video: Seagram Cup S. (G3)

The 4-year-old son of Birdstone  trained by Mark Casse sat in eighth place in the field of nine, as many as 5 1/2 lengths behind pacesetter Asserting Bear, who ran fractions of :24.75, :48.98, and 1:12.63 through six furlongs in the 1 1/16-mile event.

But Florida Won began his move five wide in the final turn and got within a length of Asserting Bear at the top of the stretch, took command, then held off a late run by Pender Harbour to win by a half-length. Asserting Bear held on for third, 1 1/4 lengths back. The winner hit the wire in 1:43.33 under jockey Patrick Husbands on a fast synthetic main track.

Pender Harbour was boxed in at the top of the stretch, then found room on the rail to make a final push, but it wasn't enough to catch Florida Won.

"At the end of the day, you can't take anything away from Pender Harbour. Last time (in the Dominion Day), Pender Harbour carried 126 pounds and we just beat him," Husbands said. "He's always a class horse and the one to beat coming home."

It was the first graded victory for Florida Won since his score in last September's Ontario Derby (Can-III) at Woodbine.

Defending Seagram Cup winner His Race to Win rallied mildly to finish fourth, followed by Ami's Holiday , Ultimate Destiny, Midnight Aria, Doogie, and Letro. Conquest Top Gun, Red Rifle, and Tuscan Getaway were scratched.

Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds, out of the Grand Slam mare Grand Portege, Florida Won now has a 3-2-2 record from 10 starts and earnings of $241,902.