Veteran Barbadian Patrick Husbands lifted 3-5 favourite Kingsport to millionaire status when he got the better of a three-horse stretch battle to win the CAN$100 000 OLG Elgin Stakes here Wednesday.
Riding in the last of six stakes races on the eight-race seventh annual Canadian Millions Sales Stakes Night, sponsored by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Husbands was forced to hold off Thor’s Rocket and Aheadbyacentury to take the wire by a head in a time of one minute, 44.18 seconds.
Going a mile and sixteenth for the three-year-old and upward colts and geldings in race seven, the field was reduced to just three horses after Cooler Mike and King and His Court opted to race in the $100 000 Halton in race two and Split My Pants was scratched.
Husbands broke Kingsport sharply but promptly pulled him back to stalk, as Aheadbyacentury produced the splits with Thor’s Rocket chasing from second.
Though Aheadbyacentury continued to lead on the backstretch, the trio were slightly bunched as Thor’s Rocket remained glued to the leader’s flank, while Husbands sat three-quarters-of-a-length behind.
Aheadbyacentury got through the half-mile in 50.57 to be two lengths clear but Thor’s Rocket made his bid to snatch the lead heading into the final turn, with Husbands in pursuit on the outside.
In the stretch, the race became an all-out brawl among the trio with Thor’s Rocket and Kingsport going head-to-head and Aheadbyacentury refusing to go away along the rails.
The winner was only decided in the final yards when Husbands got Kingsport’s head in front.
For the Sid Attard-trained Kingsport, it was his second stakes triumph in three months following his success in the Steady Growth in June under Husbands, sending him past the million dollar career earnings mark.
The victory for Husbands was his second in four days after winning the 145 000 Seaway Stakes on Sunday.