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2011 Woodward Day


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Havre de Grace wins the 2011 Woodward Stakes
Havre de Grace wins the 2011 Woodward Stakes

Havre de Grace wins the 2011 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga

© Vanessa Ng
September 3, 2011

Labor Day weekend is closing weekend at Saratoga and the feature race on Saturday was the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1), with an afternoon crowd of 24,430 enjoying a sunny Saturday with temperatures in the low 80's. Havre de Grace was sent off as the 9-4 choice in the field of 8, attempting to become only the second filly (after Rachel Alexandra) to win the Woodward. She comes to Saratoga off a close second in the Delaware Handicap (G2) after winning the Azeri (G3), Apple Blossom (G1), and Obeah (G3) Stakes. In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Flat Out, second in the Whitney (G1) after winning the Suburban (G1), and 4-1 third choice Rule, off a win in the Birdstone Stakes after finishing third in the Salvator Mile (G3).

Rule went to the lead first time past the stands and he set early fractions of 23.93, 48.09, and 1:11.95 while pressed by Mission Impazible and Convocation. Havre de Grace sat 4 wide 3 lengths back in fourth down the backstretch. Turning for home, Rule continued to lead but Havre de Grace was put to a drive by jockey Ramon Dominguez and was gaining on the outside. Rule led at the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:36.29 but tired, as Havre de Grace easily passed him and drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths over late-running Flat Out in 1:49.18 over the fast track. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to pacesetter Rule third.

Results chart

Also on the card: The Personal Ensign (G1) and The Forego Stakes (G1).

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