Afleet Alex’s Skywire gave jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva a six win on Sunday afternoon’s card at Woodbine by taking the $100,000 Wando Stakes.
Queen’s Plate prospect Skywire stalked fellow Mark Casse trainee Federal Law through early fractions of :24.19, :47.85 and 1:11.01 in the two-turn main track feature. Da Silva then made his bid with the favourite on the final turn and took over command down the stretch with second choice Global Access chasing 2-1/2 lengths behind off the rail in rein to Patrick Husbands. Federal Law settled for third with Gary Boulanger aboard.
Skywire turned in an impressive clocking of 1:42.37 over the 1 1/16-mile distance and paid $3.80 to win as the 4-5 favourite.
“He was just by himself there [in the stretch]. I’m pretty sure if another horse came, he would have another gear,” said Da Silva, who won the last four consecutive meet titles, including last season when he won a meet record 237 races.
“I know he got a little green at the end, but he’s learning and this horse has a lot to show.”
Bred in Ontario by the late William D. Graham, the Afleet Alex-Meandering Stream colt won his first career start at Woodbine late last year and his sophomore debut at Gulfstream Park in mid-February, but came into the Wando off an eighth-place finish in last month’s Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park.
“I think he just got a lousy trip. I don’t know if we would have beaten the winner, but he got a bit of a bad trip, kept running into traffic,” explained Lou Tucci, who co-owns the colt with Gary Barber. “I think we could have picked up a cheque there, but he did the job today.
“It feels good, it feels real good [to have another Queen’s Plate prospect],” said Tucci, who previously won the opening leg of the Canadian Triple Crown with Midnight Aria in 2013. “We’ll see how the horse comes out of this one before we make any calls, but we hope we go that route.”
Afleet Alex stands at Gainesway for $6,500.