Bulldog Racing’s Alpha Bettor stormed down the rail to capture Saturday’s Grade 3 $150,000 Seagram Cup, at Woodbine.
Trained by Dan Vella, the bay son of Alphabet Soup successfully defended his Seagram Cup crown with an energetic stretch run under regular rider Justin Stein.
Ultimate Destiny, declared a refunded non-starter by the stewards after his gate opened prematurely, set the early pace with Awesome Overture and James Street tracking his early foot in the 1 1/16-mile ‘Poly’ stake.
Stein settled Alpha Bettor in fourth-position as Ultimate Destiny posted splits of :24.56, :48.58 and 1:12.30. Awesome Overture was urged into contention through the far turn, but Stein, sitting behind horses, angled Alpha Bettor to the rail and raced home a strong 3/4-length winner. Alpha Bettor covered 1 1/6-miles in 1:43.63.
Ultimate Destiny stayed on for second over Awesome Overture, who earned the place position through disqualification.
Stein was concerned about finding racing room early on in the route race.
“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 travelling that easy. I was really stuck and had to wait it out.”
As the field emerged from the far turn, Stein was left with two choices for racing room and picked a winning option.
“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. He (Alpha Bettor) only really ran an eighth of a mile,” said Stein.
Alpha Bettor banked $90,000 in victory, while improving his record to 7-4-2 from 23 career starts.
He returned $9.30, $4.20 and $3.10, pairing with Awesome Overture ($7.20, $5.80) for a $76.40 (3-6) exactor. A 3-6-7 (Peyton, $6.80 to show) triactor was worth $691.40. Perfect Afleet completed a $1 Superfecta (3-6-7-1) worth $3,161.10.