(from Woodbine report)
Jockey Todd Kabel, the four-time reigning jockey of the year in Canada, won his fifth consecutive edition of Woodbine’s CAN$151,600 Toronto Cup for 3-year-olds on the turf with Windward Islands on Saturday. It was Kabel's seventh Toronto Cup win in eight years.
Trainer Mark Frostad also won his seventh Toronto Cup, dating back to 1997, while owner Sam-Son Farm had its 11th win, going back to 1985.
It was the initial stakes win for Windward Islands, who edged 32-1 longshot Angel of the House by 1 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile event. Skip Code was another two lengths back in third.
The running time was 1:49.58 over a course listed as “firm,” but softened mildly by mid-afternoon rain in the greater Toronto area.
Approval Rating, the 3-2 favorite in the field of nine, finished seventh.
Kabel thought the addition of blinkers was the key to victory. “(The blinkers) certainly helped. This little horse was a little leery with me last time (second to Sehgal in a 1 1/16-mile allowance event on June 22), so I suggested that we should try them on and it worked out.”
The veteran rider, who also won the Toronto Cup with French Beret (2006), T.D. Vance (2005), Silver Ticket (2004), Mobil (2003), Strut the Stage (2001), and Think Red (2000), says the gray son of Cozzene will continue to be heard from.
“He handled the turf very well,” he said. “He has some learning to do, and he’s going to advance a lot throughout this year. I hope to see another champion right here.”
Frostad, who combined with Kabel for five of his seven wins, plus Portcullis in 2002 and Skybound in 1997, said the turf is the future for the Kentucky-bred.
“We finally got him on (the turf) this year. His last start was his first start of the year, and he was a little leery about going up in between horses. That’s why Todd said put the blinkers on him and we might get a better result, and we did.”
Windward Islands now has career earnings of $166,730 from six career starts (2-2-0).
He paid $10.90, $6.30, $4.40 and combined with Angel of the House ($19.20, $8.40) for $256.80 exacta. Skip Code ($5.50) rounded out the $2,113.20 trifecta.