James Street registered his first win of the year when he came from off the pace to sweep past the leaders en route to a 1 1/4-length win in the $150,649 Durham Cup Stakes (Can-III) Oct. 6 at Woodbine.
The public could see only defending Durham Cup winner Delegation in the six-horse field, sending him off as the 3-10 choice. But the favorite, never able to get a breather while racing on the front end with strong pressure from Alpha Bettor, gave way rounding the far bend and faded to last.
Melnyk Racing Stable's homebred James Street ended a six-race losing streak at 6-1 odds with Patrick Husbands aboard for trainer Josie Carroll. The 6-year-old son of El Prado, who had lost five times this season before breaking through, completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.14 over Woodbine's Polytrack.
Breaking from the rail, Delegation was away smartly but joined on her outside by Alpha Bettor, who tracked the odds-on pick closely through fractions of :23.77, :47.70, and 1:12.28. The field raced in three groups of two down the backstretch with James Street at the back of the pack alongside Peyton.
Leaving the turn, Alpha Bettor, ridden by Justin Stein, began to inch away from Delegation and took the lead into the homestretch. Alpha Bettor opened a gap briefly in upper stretch but soon came under a challenge from Awesome Overture with James Street gaining ground while three wide. James Street took over past the furlong marker and maintained control to the wire under steady handling from Husbands.
Alpha Bettor held on to the place spot by a neck, with Awesome Overture and Jesse Campbell third. Peyton finished fourth, followed by So Long George and Delegation.
Husbands, showing his trademark patience, waited until just the right moment to make his move with James Street.
"Today he was enjoying it behind horses. I wanted to make my move at the right time and when I got to the top of the lane I made my move," said Husbands.
Carroll, who captured the Grey Stakes (Can-III) with Ami's Holiday earlier on the card, was happy to have Husbands, only recently returned from injury, back aboard James Street.
"I was delighted with where I was sitting today. This horse and Patrick get along very well, the horse turns off a little bit for him," said Carroll. "When I saw that Alpha Bettor went with Delegation and softened him up a little bit, I was smiling."
James Street, third in last year's Durham Cup after finishing second in 2011, has banked $634,856 with the victory while improving his record to 7-6-4 from 27 career starts. Among his victories are last year's Autumn Stakes (Can-II) and the 2011 Seagram Cup (Can-III), both at Woodbine.
The winner, bred in Kentucky, is out of the winning Unbridled mare Alleynedale.
James Street returned $14.50, $7 and $11.60, pairing with Alpha Bettor ($8.10, $11.50) for a $65.70 exacta. Awesome Overture was $20.70 to show while competing a trifecta worth $412.50.