Veteran Barbadian jockey Patrick Husbands needed a photo finish before he could prevail with favourite Curlin’s Voyage and win the CAN$125 000 Fury Stakes at Woodbine racetrack on Sunday.
Up against the three-year-old fillies in a seven-furlong trip, Husbands brought the Josie Carroll-trained chestnut filly with a late run to catch 65-1 long shot Justleaveitalone on the wire, just getting home on the head bob.
For Husbands, the result marked his sixth success in the Fury, his previous five victories coming for champion trainer Mark Casse.
“She’s coming off a sprint. She was going to be pretty sharp today,” Husbands said afterwards.
“Going down the back, it was a lot of ‘cat and mouse’ game and I was like ‘oh my God, oh my God. I didn’t want to disappoint her and was still trying to ride her like a good horse.
“Between the half-mile and the three-eighths pole, [I said] I had enough of this. I just had to get in gear and get the job done.”
Going off at odds of 6-5, Husbands got Curlin’s Voyage away fifth in the six-horse field as 7-2 choice Infinite Patience set the early pace with Justleaveitalone on her flank and Mizzen Beau stalking from third.
The pace quickened approaching the turn as Husbands moved Curlin’s Voyage into a striking position on the outside but Infinite Patience and Justleaveitalone entered the stretch still duelling for the lead.
Infinite Patience carved out a narrow lead along the rails but Curlin’s Voyage and Justleaveitalone caught her in the late stretch before battling to the wire.
The victory for Curlin’s Voyage, Canada’s Champion Two-Year-Old filly last year, qualified her for next month’s Woodbine Oaks – the first leg of the Triple Tiara.
Husbands was also successful in the $123 300 race six over seven furlongs with favourite Unilateral, piloting the four-year-old chestnut colt to victory by a nose over the three-year-old and upward maidens.