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Dec 09, 2011

Eagle Poise captures Valedictory Stakes

By: SPORTS NETWORK


 

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Eagle Poise, ridden by Patrick Husbands, edged past Harrods Creek right before the wire to win Sunday's $150,000 Valedictory Stakes on closing day at Woodbine Race Course. The five-year-old gelding covered the 1 3/4-miles in 2:57.62 on the synthetic surface.

Breeders' Cup Marathon winner Afleet Again and last year's Valedictory runner- up Eye of the Leopard went off as the 2-1 co-favorites in the six-horse field. Eagle Poise, second in the 2009 Valedictory, was 3-1 and Bill Mott's Harrods Creek was 7-2.

Longshot Getta Rhythm set the pace followed by Harrods Creek, Eye of the Leopard, Alpha Bettor, Eagle Poise and Afleet Again. With a mile to run Getta Rhythm, 36-1 on the board, still had the lead with Harrods Creek running second followed by Eye of the Leopard, Eagle Poise, 11-1 longshot Alpha Bettor and Afleet Again. The BC Marathon champ, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, began to get going with six-furlongs to go.

Midway up the backstretch the top two runners had separated themselves from the rest of the field as Afleet Again continued to advance. On the final turn Harrods Creek, with Chantal Sutherland riding, moved to the lead with Eagle Poise going past Eye of the Leopard into second and Afleet Again moving into fourth.

Down the stretch Eagle Poise and Harrods Creek hooked up for the drive. The two battled through the stretch until Eagle Poise was able get his head on the wire ahead of Harrods Creek.

Eye of the Leopard, 2009 Queen's Plate winner, finished third followed by Afleet Again, Alpha Bettor and Getta Rhythm

Owned by Riverdee Stable, Eagle Poise is trained by Graham Motion conditioner of this year's Kentucky Derby champ Animal Kingdom. Eagle Poise notched his sixth victory, worth $90,000, in 20 career starts for total earnings of $423,604.

The gelding was coming off a win over Eye of the Leopard at Woodbine on November 11 in an allowance race.

"I was very happy with the effort and the result," said Motion about the neck win three weeks ago. "I was impressed. Patrick (jockey Husbands) showed great confidence in the way he rode him. He probably knows him a little better than I do."

Motion, based at Fair Hill, MD, assumed the training of Eagle Poise over the summer.

Eagle Poise returned $8.80, $4.80 and $3.20. Harrods Creek paid $4.70 and $3.30, and Eye Of The Leopard paid $2.50 to show.



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