Rafael Hernandez and Mark Casse combined to take Sunday’s other 1 1/16-mile stakes for 2-year-olds, the Grade 3 Grey, with God of Love, who looks like a serious prospect for next year’s Queen’s Plate.
After mounting a wide bid from the back of the back, God of Love came storming down the center of the track in the stretch to score by 1 1/2 lengths over pacepresser Ironstone. On Thin Ice edged out 3-1 favorite Churchtown for third in the 10-horse field. The Minkster and Speak Unity were scratched.
God of Love, an Ontario-bred son of Cupid, graduated in the Oct. 10 Cup and Saucer Stakes before finishing a troubled fifth in the Oct. 30 Coronation Futurity.
“This race was special for me because it was a rematch from the last one because I had a bad trip last time,” Hernandez said. “So many horses stopped in front of me, and I had to take a hold. Today, (assistant trainer David Adams) told me to make sure to keep him clear. That’s what we did, and he came running.”
God of Love ($11.60) earned $108,000 of the $174,800 purse for the partnership of Gary Barber and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.