Conrad Farms’ Muskoka Wonder chased down favourite Crawl From the Bar to win the $125,000 Clarendon Stakes for Ontario-bred two-year-olds on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
The Mark Casse trainee is now undefeated in two 5-1/2 furlong sprints on the main track while paired with jockey Patrick Husbands.
Muskoka Wonder stalked front-runner Crawl From the Bar while racing outside in fourth through fractions of :22.58 and :45.55 before launching his bid around the final turn and overpowering the 3-5 favourite to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:04.47.
Bred by William D. Graham, the Into Mischief colt is the third foal and first stakes winner out of the Three Wonders mare No Wonder, who is a half-sister to two-time Grade 1 stakes champion Weemissfrankie. Muskoka Wonder was a $130,000 purchase at last year’s Keeneland Association September Yearling Sale.
“The horse seems to be really willing and wanting to win,” said Manfred Conrad. “I don’t know how good he’ll be eventually, but I really have great confidence that he’ll do well in the future and thanks to Casse’s team and especially Patrick. Patrick just seems to ride him perfectly. We’re very excited.”
Husbands has now won the Clarendon Stakes eight times over the past 15 years, including six editions with a Casse trainee.
Sent postward as the 2-1 second choice, Muskoka Wonder paid $6.60 to win and $2.90 to place. There was no show wagering. He combined with Crawl From the Bar ($2.20) for a 4-3 exacta worth $12.80.
Moon Swings went from last to third and rounded out a $1 trifecta of 4-3-5, which paid $23.20. A $1 superfecta of 4-3-5-2 returned $32.70 with Souper Hot finishing back in fourth. Newfie Express rounded out the compact field of five.