Southdale in the Durham Cup.

Southdale in the Durham Cup.

Michael Burns

Southdale Takes Rail to Durham Cup Triumph

Favorite cruises by 3 1/4 lengths for second stakes win of the season at Woodbine.

Favored Southdale squeezed through an opening at the top of the stretch and cruised to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $170,065 Durham Cup (Can-III) on Woodbine's Polytrack Oct. 3 (VIDEO).

Ridden by James McAleney for trainer Ian Black, Southdale earned his second grade III win of the season for Ontario owner and breeder Rod Ferguson. The 4-year-old son of Street Cry--Pinafores Pride, by Saint Ballado, captured the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse Stakes (gr. III) over the same track June 5.

Sent off at odds of 2-1 in the field of six for the 1 1/8-mile Durham Cup, Southdale settled in hand along the inside as Barreling Home took the early lead. Barreling Home, with Luis Contreras aboard, controlled the tempo while carving crawling fractions of :25.69, :51.16, and 1:16.24.

Rounding the turn for home, Palladio, rallying from last, made a five-wide bid and forced the rest of the field to go with him. But Southdale, still in a perfect stalking spot while saving ground, held his position and advanced through a tight opening at the rail as Barreling Home turned for home. Southdale dueled briefly and took command just past mid-stretch. He opened a clear advantage as McAleney coaxed him home with a hand ride. The final time was 1:51.36, more than two seconds slower than the track mark.

Barreling Home edged 5-2 second choice Stunning Stag and Gerry Olguin by a head for place money, with Pool Play, ridden by Patrick Husbands, a neck farther back in fourth. Palladio finished fifth and 2009 Queen's Plate victor Eye of the Leopard  was last.

Southdale was switched back to Polytrack by Black after he suffered consecutive defeats on the grass when third in the Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT) and sixth in the Play the King (Can-IIT) last time out Aug. 29. In the Durham Cup, he picked up his fourth win in nine starts overall (seven of them on Polytrack) and earned $105,862 for the victory. The dark bay or brown colt's bankroll stands at $379,024.

"I had a ton of confidence in him," McAleney said. "He didn't really get a chance to run his race on the turf last time."

Carrying top weight of 121 pounds, Southdale paid $6.10, $3.30, and $3.10 and topped a $49.20 exacta. Barreling Home, making his first stakes appearance in more than two years for trainer Sean Smullen, returned $8.40 and $4.80. The Sid Attard-conditioned Stunning Stag paid $3.