Something Extra went gate to wire to successfully defend his title in Sunday's Grade 2, $201,600 Connaught Cup Stakes, at Woodbine.
Something Extra, trained and part-owned by Gail Cox, left the gate sharply under Eurico Rosa da Silva and never looked back en route to a 3/4-length score as the even money favourite in the seven furlong turf tilt.
The five-year-old Indian Charlie gelding notched a quarter in :22.64 with Bear No Joke on his flank. Valentino Beauty, angling off the rail, edged closer through the turn as Something Extra led the field to the top of the lane after a half in 45.09.
With the field converging on the front runner, Something Extra found a little more and accelerated away as Riding the River, rallying wide, and Upgrade, surging along the rail, could not reel in the defending champ who stopped the clock in 1:20.54 for seven furlongs. Riding the River edged Upgrade for place.
Something Extra, who entered the Connaught cup off a narrow nose loss in the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland, was in a hurry for da Silva from the opening bell.
“They opened the door and he wanted to be home quick,” said da Silva.
Cox was pleased with the effort of the dark bay she co-owns with John Menary, making up for the heartbreaking loss at Keeneland, when piloted by Julien Leparoux.
“He's a nice horse and he's gotten better,” said Cox. “It was a really tough trip (in the Shakertown.) He had a wall of horses in front of him and Julien just couldn't get through. It was just bad luck.”
Something Extra banked $120,000 in victory, while improving his record to 7-6-4 from 21 career starts.
He returned $4.20, $2.70 and $2.60, pairing with Riding the River ($5.40, $3.60) for a $25.30 (5-8) exactor. A 5-8-6 (Upgrade, $4 show) triactor was worth $58.05. Valentino Beauty completed a $1 Superfecta (5-8-6-1) worth $307. Artest was scratched.
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