Emma-Jayne Wilson guides Who’s the Star to track record-setting victory in the G3 Durham Cup at Woodbine
Who’s the Star, rallying from last place following a sluggish start, roared past his seven rivals to record an impressive victory in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Durham Cup (G3) at Woodbine.
The 4-year-old Tonalist gelding, one of three horses in the field trained by Mark Casse, was making his first start on a synthetic surface and finished in a track record time of 1:40.73 while scoring by a half-length over Artie’s Storm, in the $157,500 event.
“I knew this horse would come running on in, that’s what he did the last time he was here,” said jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson, who was recording her second straight upset stakes score with the 9-1 Who’s the Star after capturing the Niagara over 1 ¼ miles on the E.P. Taylor course at 13-1 in their first partnership. The Kentucky-bred had finished a non-threatening eighth when making an interim appearance in the 1 ½-mile Kentucky Downs Turf Cup (G2).
“And he’s pretty speedy that last quarter, so I just wanted to make sure I got going down the backside into the turn and you know that’s a bit of a shorter stretch than the E.P. Taylor. But he handled it beautifully, he was just motoring home. I was really impressed.”
Like the Storm, a second Casse trainee, was sent up from his inside post to duel with War Bomber for the leading into the clubhouse turn and held a half-length advantage through a quarter mile in :23.81.
War Bomber moved up just outside the leader to take charge just after a half-mile went by in :47.05 and led by a half-length as the six furlongs went by in 1:09.93.
Artie’s Storm, meanwhile, had been sitting just a couple of lengths back while hugging the rail and swung out to launch his move around the final turn. That momentum carried him to the front after they straightened out for home and he led by a head at the stretch call. But Who’s the Star had moved up quickly to take dead aim while racing widest and was not to be denied.
Artie’s Storm was a clear second, three lengths before War Bomber with Hombre another two lengths behind in fourth.
Frosted Over, the third Casse entrant, ended fifth as the 2-1 choice with Special Forces, Like the King and Irwin rounding out the order of finish.
Riptide Rock was scratched.
Who’s the Star, who began his career in California, joined Casse’s string in Florida this winter and looks to have developed a fondness for Woodbine with the Durham Cup his third win in as many outings. The Durham Cup win was the fifth for Casse and the fourth for Wilson.
Owned by M Racing Group LLC, Who’s the Star is out of the Carson City mare Shine Forth and was a $375,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase by Golden Star Farm. Penn Sales consigned.
The winner returned $20.10.