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Published on Sep 3, 2011
Havre de Grace put herself squarely in the race for Horse of the Year honors on Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, powering into the lead with 200 yards to go and pulling clear to a rousing 1 ¼-length victory over seven males in the 58th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward.
The 4-year-old daughter of Saint Liam became just the second female ever to win the 1 1/8-mile race, joining Rachel Alexandra, who capped her 2009 Horse of the Year campaign with a win in the Woodward.
Sent off as the 2-1 favorite and confidently ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Havre de Grace left from post position 6, then raced wide around the first turn as Rule, closely followed by Mission Impazible, carried the field through an opening quarter-mile in 23.93 seconds. Angled toward the inside as the half went in 48.09, Havre de Grace began inching closer approaching the far turn and launched her bid with three-eighths of a mile to go.
Just two lengths back in second at the top of the stretch, Havre de Grace steadily cut into Rule's margin, taking over inside the eighth pole with enough left to turn back the late bid from Flat Out.