Salute With Honor Completes Casse Exacta in Durham Cup

Jockey Patrick Husbands and trainer Mark Casse completed a sweep of the Thanksgiving weekend stakes events at Woodbine as Salute With Honor won the Durham Cup (G3) Oct. 11 in front-end fashion.

Salute With Honor was followed by a hard-closing Skywire and Rafael Hernandez to complete a Casse exacta in the 1 1/16-mile main track test for 3-year-olds and up. 

The Husbands-Casse duo also clicked in the Cup and Saucer Stakes on Saturday with Canadian-bred 2-year-old Master Spy.

Salute With Honor took command from the quick-leaving Inventing Blame into the first turn approaching the :23.43 quarter mark and clocked a half-mile in :47.36 and three-quarters in 1:11.78.

Skywire, who raced inside near the back of the seven-horse field, maneuvered outside on the final turn and came tearing home to finish second, one length behind his stablemate. Timeskip closed from last to nab the show honors for conditioner Renee Kierans ahead of another Casse trainee, Pioneer ManRoaring FortiesArmistice Day, and Inventing Blame completed the order of finish.

Salute With Honor was not far off Freitag’s track record of 1:42.16 as he posted a final time of 1:42.35.

First-time stakes winner Salute With Honor ($6, $3.20, $2.90) was the slight 2-1 favorite over Skywire ($3.10, $2.50), who won the Eclipse Stakes (G2) July 4 over the same course and distance.

“He’s a horse that likes to be forwardly placed,” Husbands said of the 6-year-old chestnut son of To Honor and Serve. “I don’t touch him, he just does what he’s gotta do. I just be the pilot and relax on his back, and when I asked him, he gave me all he can give me.”

The Live Oak Plantation homebred gelding earned his seventh win and has banked nearly CA$360,000 (US$299,158) from 19 starts. Salute With Honor has won two races in a row at Woodbine and sports a 5-for-7 record at Woodbine.

Husbands has won back-to-back editions of the Durham Cup on two occasions. He first accomplished the feat with the Casse pupil Delegation and the Josie Carroll-conditioned James Street in 2012-13. Last year, he guided The Great Day to victory for trainer Arnaud Delacour. 

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