Saturday, April 04, 2009

Husbands and Sutherland shine on Woodbine’s Opening Day card

TORONTO, April 4 – Jockeys Patrick Husbands and Chantal Sutherland got out of the gates in strong fashion on Opening Day at Woodbine, winning three and two races, respectively, on Saturday at the Toronto oval.

Husbands, who took the Woodbine riding title and netted his sixth Sovereign Award as Canada’s top rider in 2008, won the second race with Talk Fast, the day’s featured race, the $100,000 La Voyageuse Stakes, aboard Mullins Beach, and the ninth with True Vindication.

After taking the first race with Flashy N Classy, Sutherland, who won 89 races, 12 stakes, at the Toronto oval in 2008, guided Silver Pizzazz to a rallying score in the seventh race for trainer Audre Cappuccitti.

Eurico Rosa Da Silva, Emile Ramsammy, Constant Montpellier, Steve Bahen and Todd Kabel also rode winners on the card.

On the trainers’ side, Malcolm Pierce and Ross Armata each notched two wins. Pierce won the La Voyageuse with Mullins Beach and the ninth with True Vindication. Armata’s first score came with Moon Ruckus in the fourth and I’m A Moon Too took the eighth.

Anne Cameron, Michael Pino, Pat Parente, Mike Doyle and Tony Mattine also collected victories on the 10-race programme.

The largest-priced winner on the day was Kasablanca Express, who paid $49.30 in the day’s fifth race.

Woodbine's 167-day racing meet continues Sunday. Post time is 1:00 p.m. The season concludes December 6.

Mullins Beach makes a splash in La Voyageuse

TORONTO, April 4 - Melnyk Racing Stables' homebred Mullins Beach captured Saturday's $100,000 La Voyageuse Stakes, the opening day feature, at Woodbine.

The five-furlong victory was the first added-money score for the three-year-old Speightstown filly, who was guided by Patrick Husbands.

The Ontario-bred filly traveled five furlongs in :58.59, finishing 3 3/4 lengths clear of Sans Sousi. The 7-5 favorite High Mist finished third.

Mullins Beach, trained by Malcolm Pierce, broke sharply from post five and remained outside along the backstretch. She received inside pressure from Sans Sousi and High Mist, but drove clear of the rivals turning for home.

At the top of the stretch, she drove clear the inside on the turn and drove clear in the stretch.

After the race, Husbands commended Pierce's work preparing the filly, who was seventh in a turf stakes event at the Fair Grounds on February.

"I really didn't want to be where she was, but she broke so sharp. I left her alone," said Husbands. "She ran a big race."

Mullins Beach was one of only two fillies in the La Voyageuse that had raced in 2009.

Assistant trainer Sally Pierce said it was advantageous for Mullins Beach to have entered the race with a start under her belt.

"When she broke from the gate in her last race, she was slow. That helped her get back into gear and remember what to do," said Sally Pierce.

Mullins Beach compiled a 2-for-4 record in 2008, with a victory on the E.P. Taylor Turf and Polytrack. She is now 1-for-2 in 2009.

Mullins Beach returned $15.90, $7.20 and $4.10, combining with Sans Sousi ($7, $3.80) for a $81.90 exactor. High Mist ($2.60) rounded out a $283.80 triactor.

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