Muskoka Gold, prominent from the outset under jockey Jerome Lermyte, turned back the challenge of favored Pleasecallmeback for a 1 ¾-length victory in Sunday’s $226,600 Cup and Saucer Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack.
The Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Canadian-bred two-year-olds, attracted a field of 12, and Muskoka Gold was an 18-1 chance while giving trainer Mark Casse his third Cup and Saucer and meet-leading 12th stakes win.
Goldmine Cat, also trained by Casse, was first to the front but was joined quickly by Muskoka Gold on the inside. The opening quarter went in :23.60 with Goldmine Cat holding a head advantage and the pair continued to duel with Muskoka Gold assuming the lead by the same margin as they hit the half in :47.71.
Pleasecallmeback, who had launched his move heading into the final turn, had his head in front briefly between calls but Muskoka Gold refused to yield and had reclaimed the advantage by a head with the three-quarters in 1:11.88. Muskoka Gold extended his lead through the stretch run, despite the best efforts of Pleasecallmeback’s rider Patrick Husbands, holding a length advantage with a furlong to run and ending 1 ¾ lengths in front.
Bred by the late Bill Graham, Muskoka Gold was making just his second career start and trying turf for the first time in the Cup and Saucer after finishing a closing second over 1 1/16 miles of Tapeta in his debut. By Claiborne stallion Lea, Muskoka Gold is out of Lunch Hour, by Medaglia d’Oro.
Lea stands at Claiborne Farm.