Husbands re-takes lead at Woodbine
Ace Barbadian jockey Patrick Husbands is out front again in the Woodbine jockeys’ title race.
The 41-year-old won two races on Saturday’s card, including the feature CAN$125,000 Glorious Song Stakes, and returned yesterday to capture another brace to overtake three-time defending champion Luis Contreras.
Husbands now has 159 wins, with Contreras one back in second, with just over two weeks left in the Woodbine season in Toronto, Canada.
Entering yesterday’s ten-race programme tied on 158 wins with Contreras, Husbands logged a victory in race two with favourite The Great Gizmo and found the winners’ enclosure again in race ten with another odds-on bet Command Force, to inch into the lead.
If Husbands wraps up the title, it will be his seventh Woodbine riding championship and first in five years.
With eight rides on the card, Husbands started positively when he steered The Great Gizmo to victory over the three-year-olds and upward by 2-1/2 lengths.
Husbands and the three-year-old chestnut gelding duelled early on with Speedy Fox and Master Gray, to enter the stretch third and in an excellent position to launch a bid. They grabbed the lead mid-stretch and sprinted to the wire convincingly.
A huge crowd favourite at Woodbine, Husbands grabbed his second win in style, making all the running with the five-year-old bay gelding Command Force, to beat the three-year-olds and upward going a mile and sixteenth.
He eased through the first quarter in 24.93 seconds and the half-mile in 49.82 to be nearly two lengths clear. Once in the stretch, Husbands got the best out of the gelding and they got to the wire without a serious challenger, clear by a length.
On Saturday, Husbands recorded a career-best 27th added-money win when he piloted favourite Mississippi Delta to a handsome win in the Glorious Song.
He broke the bay filly nicely and initially positioned her on the outside as pace-setter Pankhurst paced the field through healthy fractions of 23.25 for the quarter and 46.03 for the half.
In anticipation of the stretch drive, Husbands swung Mississippi Delta to the rails and rallied her strongly once in the lane to get her to the wire two lengths clear in a time of one minute, 22.17 seconds.
Husbands completed his double when he won race nine over five furlongs, dismissing the three-year-olds and upward and fillies and mares by 7-1/4 lengths.
The Woodbine season wraps up December 7th.
CAPTION: Patrick Husbands.