Riverdee Stable’s Eagle Poise, under Patrick Husbands, rallied to win the Grade 3, $153,300 Valedictory Stakes, the final added-money event of Woodbine’s 2011 thoroughbred season, in record fashion.
The five-year-old gelded son of Empire Maker dueled with a game Harrods Creek down the lane, gutting out a head score. Eye of the Leopard, the 2009 Queen’s Plate champion, was third in the 1 ¾-mile Polytrack event. Afleet Again, who recently won the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, was fourth.
The final time was 2:57.62, besting the previous mark of 2:58.27 set by Marsh Side in the 2006 Valedictory.
Trained by Graham Motion, Eagle Poise made it two consecutive trips to the winner’s circle after the bay took the Valedictory prep by a neck over Eye of the Leopard on November 11.
Under a confident steer from Husbands, who guided Pool Play to victory in last year’s Valedictory, Eagle Poise notched his sixth win from 20 starts, to go along with 11 top-three finishes.
“Last race, he was very gutsy down the lane,” said Husbands, who notched his 23rd Woodbine stakes win of the campaign, tying him with Luis Contreras for the colony lead. “I just waited as long as possible. Down the lane, he showed me again how gutsy he is.”
Eagle Poise paid $8.80, $4.80 and $3.20, combining with Harrods Creek ($4.70, $3.30) for a $43.60 exactor. Eye of the Leopard ($2.50) completed a $115.10 triactor.