Bulldog Racing's Alpha Bettor certainly as an affinity for the 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine. The 5-year-old son of Alphabet Soup won the race Aug. 3 for a second year in a row.
This time he came from off the pace to top Ultimate Destiny by three-quarters of a length. The time for the race was 1:43.63 (VIDEO) on Polytrack.
The runner-up set the pace and was declared a non-starter in the $153,343 race after his gate opened prematurely. Awesome Overture was moved up to second and Peyton was placed third.
Ultimate Destiny took the early lead under Todd Kabel and set moderate splits of :24.56, :48.58, and 1:12.30 while being pressed by Awesome Overature. Alpha Bettor and rider Justin Stein tracked just off the pace and was still third after a mile in 1:37.27. He cut to the rail in deep stretch to get past the pacesetter in the final sixteenth.
Favored James Street finished seventh.
"I was sitting behind Todd Kabel (jockey of Ultimate Destiny) and jammed in there," said Stein. "I felt like we were going a lot slower than we really were; he (Alpha Bettor) was traveling that easy. I was really stuck and had to wait it out.
"Usually Todd doesn't come off the fence but his horse (Ultimate Destiny) was getting tired and he was asking him to run, drifted off the rail, and I had the option of going between James Street and Awesome Overture or go up the fence. It just happened to be the easier route going up the rail. (Alpha Bettor) only really ran an eighth of a mile," said Stein.
The winner, trained by Danny Vella, was bred by Adena Springs and is out of the Relaunch mare Scatter Buy. He was a $27,000 Adena Springs sale 2-year-old.
Sent off as the third choice in the field of eight at odds of 7-2, Alpha Bettor was making his third start of the season. He kicked off 2013 with neck score in the Eclipse Stakes (Can-II) May 12 at 1 1/16 miles then was a distant third in the July 1 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) at 10 furlongs.
He now has seven wins from 23 starts and has earned $545,571 after taking home the $86,634 first prize.
Carrying top weight of 121 pounds, Alpha Bettor paid $9.30, $4.20, and $3.10. Awesome Overture, who also toted 121, returned $7.20 and $5.80. Peyton paid $6.80 to show. The 3-6 exacta paid $76.40.
Perfect Afleet was next, followed by Any Given Royal, James Street, and Patrioticandproud.