Phil’s Dream went gate to wire to capture Sunday’s $125,000 Overskate Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Paul Buttigieg for Buttigieg Training Centre, the dark bay son of Philanthropist has enjoyed a memorable 2013 campaign in which the gelding has now won five of seven starts, after sitting on the sidelines for the entirety of the 2012 meet.
Phil’s Dream broke sharply under Justin Stein in the seven furlong ‘Poly’ stake and battled with Pender Harbour down the backstretch through splits of :23.48 and :45.90 with Spirit Warnings and Urban Forester tracking their early pace.
Favoured Ultimate Destiny was urged into contention through the turn by Eurico Rosa da Silva, but Phil’s Dream opened up at the top of the lane and held on strong to win by a neck. Ultimate Destiny finished a length in front of Pender Harbour. Phil’s Dream stopped the clock in 1:21.31.
Stein was ready and waiting for the late run of stakes winner Ultimate Destiny down the lane.
“I knew he’d be coming at us,” said Stein. “That horse (Ultimate Destiny) was shortening up and I figured that would probably take his game away from him a little bit and I tried to get the jump on him. The wire came to us at the right time.”
Phil’s Dream, taking his first stakes score, banked $75,000 in victory, while improving his record to 6-2-1 from 11 career starts.
He returned $9.70, $3.80 and $2.50, pairing with Ultimate Destiny ($3, $2.10) for a $23.10 (2-8) exactor. A 2-8-3 (Pender Harbour, $2.90 to show) triactor was worth $79.80. Spirit Warnings completed a $1 Superfecta (2-8-3-4) worth $146.20.