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2012 Woodward Day


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To Honor and Serve wins the 2012 Woodward Stakes
To Honor and Serve wins the 2012 Woodward Stakes

To Honor and Serve wins the 2012 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga

© Terence Dulay
September 1, 2012

The $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1) is the feature race of closing weekend at Saratoga. A field of 7 older horses went 1 1/8 miles, one lap of the main track, under sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's. Mucho Macho Man was sent off as the 4-5 favorite off his win in the Suburban Handicap (G2) after finishing third in the Alysheba (G2). In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice To Honor and Serve off his fourth place finish in the Suburban, and 9-2 third choice Stay Thirsty, fifth in the Suburban last out.

Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent 17-1 Rule to the lead immediately and he set fractions of 23.70, 47.45, and 1:10.83 while pressed by 16-1 Trickmeister. On the turn, To Honor and Serve, who stalked the pacesetters third early, moved up to gain the lead at the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:35.77. Mucho Macho Man, fourth early, collared To Honor and Serve at the 1/16 pole but could not get by, as To Honor and Serve outfinished him by a neck in 1:48.65 over the fast track. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to late-running 7-1 Cease third.

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