TORONTO – Barbadian riding ace Patrick Husbands remained firmly in the hunt for his seventh title at Woodbine when he reeled off three impressive wins on Friday’s nine-race card, to climb to within three of the lead at the Canadian racetrack.
The 41-year-old captured the CAN$66 000 Race 1 with 2-1 chance Maythefourthbwithu, returned in the $34 000 Race 3 over six furlongs to win with 5-1 bet Orbit Express, and sealed his triple with success in the $50 500 Race 7 with 6-1 chance Miss Giacomo.
Husbands has 98 wins and is within touching distance of three-time defending champion Luis Contreras who is perched on 101 victories. Eurico Rosa da Silva, the 2010 champion, has now slipped to third on 84 wins.
Husbands, who has been in a purple patch of late, opened his account on Friday when he guided Maythefourthbwithu to victory by half-length over the three-year-old fillies.
He kept the dark bay filly off the pace early on before bringing her to challenge in the stretch to edge the leaders in a tight finish.
In Race 3 over six furlongs, Husbands stalked the pace from along the rails with five-year-old gelding Orbit Express, watching as Enjoy The Movie and Conquestor exchanged the lead through the half-mile run in 45.05 seconds.
Once in the stretch, Husbands angled Orbit Express to the outside and rallied him strongly, and got by the leaders late to win by a length.
Going 6-1/2 furlongs in Race 7, Husbands settled the five-year-old mare Miss Giacomo off the pace set by 4-1 chance City Trip with Barbadian jockey Chris Griffith aboard.
He rallied his mount in the deep stretch and she responded, reeling in City Trip to reach the wire 2-1/4 lengths clear. (CMC)