In winning for the first time in four tries on turf, the 4-year-old son of Indian Charlie ran away to a 2 1/2-length triumph with Eurico Da Silva aboard. Something Extra, defeating 10 older horses at odds of nearly 14-1, was timed in a swift 1:20.69 for the seven furlongs over firm going.
Gail Cox co-owns and trains Something Extra, who is also owned by John Menary. Gulf Coast Farms bred the dark bay/brown gelding in Kentucky. He is out of the stakes-placed Mr. Livermore mare Our Mariah.
“I wanted to use his speed, and the track too,” said da Silva. “(The turf course) seems like a big advantage for a speed horse.
"I kept talking to him, saying 'relax, relax.' Then I said, 'boy, I love you,' and then he relaxed, put his ears up and had a little breather, and then ran very fast home. He ran a great race.”
Something Extra took the early lead from Stormy Lord, the defending Connaught Cup champion who was breaking from the far outside, and Big Band Sound. Something Extra was quickly two lengths clear on the backstretch while running an opening quarter-mile in :23 and he continued to hold a comfortable advantage on the turn after running a half-mile in :45.59. He scooted away to a 2 1/2-length advantage in the lane and held sway under a strong hand ride from Da Silva.
Big Band Sound, rallying from ninth at the three-eighths pole, angled out in upper stretch for Tyler Pizarro and edged Artic Fern and jockey David Clark by three-quarters of a length for second. British-bred Mutual Trust, the 125-pound high weight and 2-1 favorite, trailed the field early after being bothered at the start and finished seventh. Stormy Lord, the co-second choice at 9-2 along with Big Band Sound, tired to finish last.
Something Extra was making his second start of the year in the Connaught Cup following a 2011 campaign in which he won three of eight starts with four additional placings. Something Extra began the year with a troubled fourth-place effort in the Jacques Cartier Stakes on Woodbine's Polytrack April 7 when he was blocked leaving the turn.
All 16 of Something Extra's career starts have come at Woodbine, including four on the turf. In addition to his win Sunday, which was worth $87,444, the gelding has two seconds and a third on grass. Something Extra has a 5-4-3 overall record with earnings of $354,551.
Cox was pleased with the versatility of her improving horse.
“I would think he loves the turf when it's hard like this,” Cox said. “This horse always runs 100%. He's easy to train, he's a good work horse, and he’s pretty nice to get ready. He's always been like that.”
Something Extra carried 116 pounds and paid $29.90, $15.20, and $10 as the sixth choice of the bettors. He keyed a $183.20 exacta. Big Band Sound, second in the Vigil Stakes (can-III) on Woodbine's Polytrack in his last start May 6 for trainer Dan Vella, returned $6.10 and $4.40. Artic Fern was $9.20 to show.