Sir Winston forged to the lead in the final turn and held off a familiar foe to earn his first stakes victory in the $100,000 Display for two-year-olds on Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.
The Mark Casse-trained chestnut colt, who had to share the spotlight in his maiden-breaking win on September 12 dead-heating with Inclusive, claimed sole ownership of the Display Stakes title finishing one length in front of that foe during Sunday’s 1-1/16 mile feature.
With blinkers added, Sir Winston and Jerome Lermyte followed race leader D Magician through early fractions of :25.21 and :49.95 before launching their attack heading towards three-quarters in 1:13.36 with 6-5 favourite The Boss Factor looming three-wide. Sir Winston struck the front in the final turn and held clear of the late-closing Inclusive for the 1:45.02 victory. Global Access was within striking range throughout and came through inside of The Boss Factor down the stretch to snag third-place honours.
“I thought there would be some speed,” said Lermyte after the race. “I thought maybe one or two more. They didn’t come early so it was perfect for me. I just didn’t want to be behind one that would stop so I made the decision to come out a little bit, but the trainer asked me to be a little bit closer today and it paid off.”
Sir Winston, who finished third when making his stakes debut last time out in the Grade 3 Grey on October 21, now has two wins through his first five lifetime starts for owner/breeder Tracy Farmer.
“He’s been doing nothing else but improving and that’s awesome when you can get that feeling,” said Lermyte, who has been aboard the Awesome Again-LA Gran Bailadora colt for his last three races at Woodbine. “Even in the morning, he was giving us some very nice breezes in the morning, so we were very confident today.”
The victory marked Lermyte’s sixth successful stakes pairing this meet with Casse, who has won a season-high 21 added-money events.
“It was an awesome year and one more week to go!” said Lermyte, who will look to put the finishes touches on his career-best season in which has won 36 races and ranks among Woodbine’s top 10 jockeys. “It’s been great winning all the stakes and obviously the incredible support from Mark is just amazing.”
Sent off as the 4-1 third choice, Sir Winston paid $10.20, $5.30 and $3.80. He combined with Inclusive ($7.70, $4.90) for a $60 exacta while a $1 trifecta ticket with Global Access ($3.50) was worth $114. With The Boss Factor fourth, the superfecta returned $265.40 for a $1 ticket.
Truly Elite, Baytown Jimbo, Grimgrinnin’ Ghost, D Magician and Hit the Ticket completed the order of finish.
Live Thoroughbred racing resumes on Sunday, Dec. 9 featuring the final two stakes of the season – the $125,000 Ontario Lassie Stakes and Grade 3 Valedictory. First race post time is set for 1 p.m. The 133-day race meet continues through Sunday, Dec. 16.