Mark One Hits Jackpot in Woodbine Slots Cup

Mark One, with Robert Landry in the irons, rallied from off the pace to gun down Prince of Wales and Breeders' Stakes champion A Bit O'Gold in the final jumps to win Saturday's $157,950 Woodbine Slots Cup (Can-III).

For Mark One, it was career win number eight in 29 tries and his third from 10 starts in 2004. For savvy veteran Landry, it was stakes score number four on the campaign.

Owned by Stronach Stables and trained by Dan Vella, Mark One, a gray 5-year-old son of Alphabet Soup, boosted his career earnings to an impressive $703,957.

Under strong urging, Mark One edged A Bit O'Gold, who fought tooth-and-nail to his inside, by a head. Norfolk Knight, the 1-2 favorite of four, was third after setting the pace.

The final time for the race was 1:45 for 1 1/16 miles over a muddy strip.

"He was spot on," said Landry, whose second Woodbine Slots Cup win came 11 years after teaming with Vella and Stronach Stables to win the 1993 edition with Blitzer. "He's a great horse and he's been spotted perfectly every time this year. He's come to the races fresh and he's been able to make quite a good living doing that."

Mark One, who lost by 5 1/2 lengths to Norfolk Knight on Sept. 26, gained his measure of revenge this time out.

"This is such a genuine horse," said Vella, of the 2004 Eclipse Stakes winner. "He's one of those big, strong, tough horses who does everything right every time. If he doesn't get you today, he'll get you tomorrow."

Mark One returned $14.50 and $4.30, combining with A Bit O'Gold ($3.50) for a $34.90 exacta. There was no show or trifecta wagering available.

(Chart, Equibase)