By Emily Shields
TVG is your place for action from Woodbine Racetrack on October 11. The feature of the 11-race program is the $125,000 Durham Cup (G3) for older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic main track. A field of seven is bookended by the two favorites, Skywire on the rail and Armistice Day on the outside.
#1 Skywire (5-2) has won three of six over the track with two seconds. The four-year-old son of Afleet Alex was a Grade 2 winner over this trip on July 4 for trainer Mark Casse. Rafael Hernandez will be aboard again as this gelding seeks his fifth career win. He was Grade 3 placed two back, and can be forgiven a poor performance on grass last out.
#7 Armistice Day (2-1) is a four-year-old son of Declaration of War out of the Grade 1 mare Harmony Lodge. He was fifth in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile last out, and makes a rare appearance on the main track where he has two wins and two seconds in four starts. The $245,000 purchase is trained by Barbara Minshall, and has a big shot from the outside with a bullet workout on September 11. He also won the Toronto Cup last year.
#3 Salute With Honor (3-1) is the second Casse entrant. He has won six of his 18 starts, including a big allowance score over this trip on August 23 where he strolled home more than six lengths in front. Patrick Husbands rides the son of To Honor and Serve, who has won four of six on this course.
#4 Pioneer Man (8-1) loses Hernandez but picks up Emma Jayne Wilson. This is Casse’s third entrant, and is three for six lifetime and two for three on this track. He won an allowance over the course on July 12, then ran fourth on the grass last out.
#5 Roaring Forties (6-1) was seventh in graded company here sprinting on September 5, and stretches out to this distance for just the fourth time in his career. The son of Stormy Atlantic won here on December 9 of last year, and has only raced twice since then. This will be the third start of his form cycle.
Inventing Blame and Timeskip round out the field.
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