TORONTO, Canada – Veteran Barbadian rider Patrick Husbands tasted success for the first time in the new Woodbine season when he produced two winners on Saturday’s 11-race card.
The seven-time champion, who turned 47 last month, scored with 4-1 chance West Paw in the CAN$60 200 race two before returning in the $101 200 race 10 to win with 7-2 bet Piper’s Legacy.
Woodbine opened on June 6 following a near two-month delay due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto.
And Husbands had gone 19 rides without success until he paired with Mark Casse’s three-year-old roan filly West Paw to edge the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares by a neck, in a 6-½ furlong sprint.
West Paw stalked from the break, leading the pack in chase of the pace-setter Silent Charity who pulled the field through fractions of 23.22 seconds for the quarter mile and 46.62 for the half-mile, opening up a three length lead.
Silent Charity led into the stretch but Husbands brought West Paw with a storming run to grab the lead with a furlong to run and then hold off the fast-finishing Vespolina and Cool Society to reach the wire first.
Husbands’s second win came in another 6-½ furlong trip when he put on show every bit of his brilliance to carry the Donald MacRae-trained Piper’s Legacy to victory over the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares in a photo finish.
The six-year-old bay mare endured a rough trip under Husbands, boxed in early on along the rails as 11-1 bet Short Summer Dress produced the early splits under challenge from Miss Behave and La Chauffeur in a tightly bunched field.
At the half-mile run in 45.60, Piper’s Legacy remained trapped down on the inside in seventh, with heavy traffic ahead of her heading into the final turn.
Piper’s Legacy was still squeezed in along the rails in fifth with a furlong to run but when fourth placed Miss Bobbit faded, a seam opened up and Husbands rallied the mare, split the two front-runners to catch Miss Behave on the line.