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2008 Queen's Plate Day

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7 of 10

Heros Reward wins the 2008 Scotts Highlander Stakes
Heros Reward wins the 2008 Scotts Highlander Stakes

Heros Reward wins the 2008 Scotts Highlander Stakes at Woodbine

© Cindy Pierson Dulay
Kicking off the stakes action on Plate day is the $200,000 Scotts Highlander Stakes (G3), a 6 furlong sprint on the turf for older horses. A field of nine went to post with Maryland-based Heros Reward sent off as the 6-5 favorite, exiting victories in the Turf Sprint Handicap at Calder and then the Baltimore City Turf Sprint at home at Pimlico on Preakness day. In to challenge the Dale Capuano trainee were 9-2 second choice Quietly Mine, third in the Red Wing Dream Stakes at Belmont Park last out, and 6-1 third choice Indian Ashton, exiting an allowance win at Churchill Downs.

As expected, Heros Reward and Indian Ashton hooked up on the front end soon after the start and battled through a quarter in 22.52 and a half in 44.56 over the firm turf course. Gantu stalked the pacesetters in third into the lane. At the top of the stretch, Indian Ashton tired and faded to eventually finish fourth, allowing Heros Reward to open up a 3 length lead at the 1/8 pole after 5 furlongs in 55.76. The Great Caruso, who was fourth early, rallied well late but was left with too much to make up as Heros Reward easily held him off by 3/4 length at the line in 1:08.02 for the 3/4 mile trip. It was another 2 lengths back to Wollemi Pine third.
Results chart from DRF

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