Finale, the 4-5 favorite, won the Grade III $250,000 Summer Stakes Presented by TVG on Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack in Canada. The Summer Stakes was a Breeders’ Cup Win & You’re In challenge race which awarded the winner traveling expenses and entry fees for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
John Velazquez guided Finale to his third straight victory for trainer Todd Pletcher. The two-year-old son of Scat Daddy sat in third, just behind 15-1 Excaper and 3-1 Martimer, the second choice in the field of eight. Finale struggled to overcome Excaper, going wide at the quarter pole to catch Excaper and battled him into the stretch. The winning margin was ¾ of a length.
Daddy Nose Best closed strongly on the far outside and was able to get a neck in front of Martimer for third. Burn the Mortgage was another 1 ¼ lengths back in fifth. Rounding out the field were Making Amends, Jomelo, and Secret Consultant.
Finale returned $3.70, $3.10, and $2.10. Excaper paid $10.10 and $6.70. Daddy Nose Best paid $3.50. The $2 exacta returned $40.30 and the $2 triple paid $146.70.
The sons of 2007 Kentucky Derby contender Scat Daddy looked much the best of this young field: Finale, battling his way to the wire and Daddy Nose Best, closing from eighth to tag Martimer for third place. Daddy Nose Best certainly looked like he would relish another ¼ mile and Finale looked like he had staying power if needed.
At this point in their young careers, it’s hard to say which will continue on the turf and which will begin to look for longer distances on the dirt. The Breeders’ Cup, which will be held at Churchill Downs November 4 and 5, will offer both turf and dirt opportunities for these sharp juveniles.
Photo: Courtesy Breeders' Cup