Ace Barbadian jockey Patrick Husbands unveiled a superb ride aboard 6-1 chance Alnilah to win the feature Grade 3 CAN$145 000 Seaway Stakes as part of a triple on Sunday’s 10-race card at Woodbine.
Alnilah broke badly to trail the field early on but Husbands orchestrated a superb comeback to carry the Terry Jordan-trained five-year-old chestnut mare to the wire confidently, 4-½ lengths clear in a time of one minute, 24.39 seconds to claim her maiden added-money triumph.
Hot favourite Summer Sunday, who entered the contest on the backs of a three stakes winning streak, finished second under Rafael Hernandez while near favourite Katie Bay with Eurico Rosa da Silva was third.
“Throughout the whole race, she was relaxed behind there and I had so much horse,” Husbands said afterwards. “I just told myself, I’m not going around – any little hole I can take – and that’s what I did.”
Breaking from post number three in the seven-furlong trip, Husbands found himself three lengths adrift at the back of the field as Summer Sunday disputed the lead, first with Devine Mischief and then with Katie Baby, in uncorking fractions of 23.79 seconds for the quarter and 46.96 for the half.
Heading towards the five-sixteenth pole, Husbands spotted a seam along the rails and surged by Mystic Nile before deftly switching Alnilah to the outside of third placed Double Medal coming off the final turn.
Summer Sunday still led in the upper stretch but Husbands brought Alnilah with a searing run on the outside to hit the front with a furlong to run and storm to the wire without a serious challenger.
For Husbands, it was the first time aboard Alnilah and Jordan said it had been the veteran rider’s idea to take the reins.
“Patrick came to me and said to me, ‘Terry, please let me on that horse. I’m dying to ride this horse,’” Jordan revealed.
“I said, ‘Ok, you got her.’ When somebody comes and says as convincing as he was that he wanted to ride her, you do it.”
Husbands had earlier reached the winners’ enclosure with favourite Occasional View in race seven when he paired with the 11-year-old dark bay gelding to beat the three-year-olds and upward by half length in a 6-½ furlong sprint.
The 46-year-old followed up in race nine aboard another favourite Slam, guiding the five-year-old hestnut gelding to a handsome 3-¼ length victory over the three-year-olds and upward going a mile.
Husband lies sixth in the Woodbine standings on 42 wins and $2.06 million in earnings.