Proven Strategies earned his first career stakes win Saturday in the $100,000 Toronto Cup at Woodbine, giving Sky Mesa his second stakes winner in a week.
The 3-year-old colt, owned by D. J. Stable and Empire Racing Club, took advantage of his inside post position to grab the early lead in the one-mile turf race. Bexar, to his outside, took over for about a furlong, but Proven Strategies fought back and quickly regained the lead.
Up by a length after a half-mile in a swift :45.15, Proven Strategies dispensed odds-on favorite Shirl’s Speight at the top of the stretch and went on to win by two lengths over Lucky Curlin in 1:33.78 on the firm turf.
“He’s really fast leaving so it’s easy to get position and we had the one-hole, so our plan was to go hard out of the gate and then maybe back them up,” said jockey Justin Stein. “It depended on the speed on the outside, but he settled early and was relaxed around the turn and that saved a lot of horse for the stretch run.”
Proven Strategies was second in this year’s Pennine Ridge S. (G2) and was beaten only two lengths in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). His earnings now stand at $230,726.
Bred by Francis & Barbara Vanlangendonck and Etarip Stables, Proven Strategies is the first foal out of Stormbeforethecalm.