Late-running Patrioticandproud took the overland route to his first stakes victory in the $148,833 Toronto Cup at Woodbine July 14 (VIDEO) .
Eurico Da Silva was aboard the winning son of Proud Citizen in the 1 1/8-mile turf event that attracted a field of five 3-year-olds. Final time was 1:48.33 over firm going.
Mark Casse trains Patrioticandproud for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber. Michael Jester bred the dark bay colt in Pennsylvania out of the Forest Wildcat mare Luvina. He won for the first time in seven starts this year.
Patrioticandproud settled off the pace in fourth as 3-5 favorite Hammers Terror assumed the early lead from the rail under pressure from Excaper and Mr. Online. Fractions for the opening half-mile were :24.75 and :48.56 before Mr. Online took a narrow edge while completing six furlongs in 1:11.62.
Excaper, ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson, battled three wide in the stretch to get a head in front near mid-stretch, then fought the rallying Patrioticandproud for the final furlong. Patrioticandproud kept plugging to edge away late under encouragement from Da Silva.
Patrioticandproud carried 116 pounds and paid $10.50 and $4.70 as the third choice. Excaper returned $3.70 while completing a $36.40 exacta. There was no show wagering.
Casse said the lengthy E.P. Taylor Turf Course worked to Patrioticandproud's advantage.
"This horse is more of a grinder and doesn't have that quick turn of foot," noted Casse. "The grinding is better here (at Woodbine) with the long stretch."
Excaper, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) in November, finished a half-length in front of the closing Attendant and James McAleney. Hammers Terror and Mr. Online trailed.
Patrioticandproud had posted three successive second-place finishes at Woodbine since moving north from Florida this spring. A $27,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase in 2010, he was second to Prospective in the Victoria Park Stakes June 10 on Woodbine's Polytrack. Patrioticandproud scored for the first time in four tries on the grass.
The victory, worth $88,767, boosted the colt's career earnings to $210,877. He has a record of 2-5-1 in 11 lifetime starts.