Winter Whiskey Toasts Swynford Upset

(from Woodbine report)
The toteboard suggested he didn't have a shot, but Winter Whiskey was the toast of the $134,250 Swynford Stakes for 2-year-olds at Woodbine on Sunday.

Sent off at odds of 10-1, second longest in the five-horse Swynford, Winter Whiskey and rider Jono Jones crossed the wire 3 1/4-lengths ahead of the longest shot in the field, Organ Grinder (22-1).

Not a bad result considering Winter Whiskey was originally slated to compete in another race.

"Originally, our plan was to go into an allowance race, but it didn't fill," said winning trainer Catherine Day Phillips. "We went into this stakes race. We were hoping maybe for a third or for a good closing finish and if the speed stopped, we figured we might get a bigger piece of it. It worked out well."

Winter Whiskey was fourth, six lengths behind fractions of :22 3/5 and :45 3/5 set by previously undefeated San Diego Blowout and the 4-5 favorite Estevan.

Jones played the waiting game to perfection, circling his rivals with a quick turn of foot as the field rounded the final turn for home, leaving no doubt as to the final outcome.

"Today, he showed how good he is," said Jones, who picked up his second stakes win on the year. "We just wanted to sit behind them and hopefully they'd stop. I knew he had a good turn of foot and he showed me that he had it."

The final time for the race was 1:25.08 over a main track rated as "fast."

It was the second win in three starts for the son of Whiskey Wisdom, who finished third to the highly regarded Twisted Wit in the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 1 at Woodbine. The victory was worth $80,550, boosting the gelding's bankroll to $132,283.

The 2-year-old chestnut will test the turf in his next start, a surface Day Phillips thinks the Manitoba-bred can thrive on.

"The main goal for us would be the Cup And Saucer Stakes (Oct. 11 at Woodbine). I think he should like the turf. I think 1 1/16 miles will suit him well."

He paid $22.60, $9.90 and $26.60 across the board, combining with Organ Grinder ($13.50, $31.60) for a $193.40 exacta. Estevan ($6.90) completed a $321.50 trifecta.

San Diego Blowout, sent off at 7-5, finished last.

(Chart, Equibase)