Alpha Bettor produced a 23-1 upset in the $152,202 Seagram Cup (Can-III) when he edged City Wolf by a half-length for his first stakes victory Aug. 4 at Woodbine (VIDEO) .
Tyler Pizarro rode Bulldog Racing's 4-year-old son of Alphabet Soup to victory for trainer Dan Vella. Adena Springs bred Alpha Bettor, a $27,000 Breeders' Sale buy in April 2010. The chestnut colt is out of the Relaunch mare Scatter Buy.
Alpha Bettor was timed in 1:43.79 for the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack test. City Wolf was a clear second by 4 1/2 lengths over James Street. Pool Play, the 9-5 favorite in the field of seven, finished fourth.
The second-longest shot on the board, Alpha Bettor paid $48.90, $15,50, $7.10. City Wolf returned $4.40 and $4. James Street paid $3.70 to show. The big longshot keyed a $194.10 exacta and a $648.60 trifecta.
Vella wasn't surprised by the victory in spite of the tote board.
"The betting public at Woodbine is very educated and they're usually right on," said Vella. "The odd time, one slips through, and I think he was a little over-priced today. He's an overachiever kind of horse, and on the right day, when he lays it right down, he'll beat the good guys."
Incredicat, the only 3-year-old in the field, set out on the early lead, taking control over City Wolf, on his outside, and Stunning Stag while carving modest fractions of :24.33, :48.71, and 1:12.65. Incredicat soon gave way as City Wolf, ridden by Luis Contreras, launched a four-wide bid rounding the far turn. City Wolf opened a clear advantage in upper stretch.
Tracking the leaders in fourth while racing off the rail, Alpha Bettor had his sights set on City Wolf through the stretch. He gradually drew closer to the weakening leader who still retained a 1 1/2-length edge at the eighth pole. But under a firm drive under Pizarro, Alpha Bettor got up in the final strides.
"He broke half a step slow coming out of the gate and Luis (Contreras on City Wolf) came over and made us squeeze back," explained Pizarro. "It made us get to the outside, which ended up being the perfect spot. When you ride for a trainer like Danny, you have confidence in the horse and you know when you ask him, he's going to take off and he did today."
Alpha Bettor was coming off a third-place finish on the turf in a Woodbine allowance/optional claiming race at nine furlongs July 14. In his prior start, she captured an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack June 23, his preferred surface. The last time Alpha Bettor faced stakes company, he finished seventh in the Eclipse (Can-III) May 26.
The victory, worth $89,883, was the fifth in 17 starts for Alpha Bettor. It boosted his career earnings to $291,947.
Pool Play was followed by Stunning Stag, Incredicat, and Medidocihospisurg.