12/05/2010 7:48PM

Pool Play wears down Eye of the Leopard in Valedictory

Michael Burns
Pool Play, under Patrick Husbands, defeats Eye of the Leopard in the closing-day feature at Woodbine, the 1 3/4-mile Valedictory.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Pool Play captured the final stakes of the 167-day Woodbine meet Sunday under Patrick Husbands, coming from off a slow pace to prevail in the $177,400 Valedictory in cold and windy conditions.

Village Drive was pressed through fractions of 50.35 seconds, 1:16.75, and 1:43.61 in the 1 3/4-mile marathon. Pool Play ($3.90) raced five lengths off the lead the second time down the backstretch, and then commenced a five-wide rally on the final turn before linking up with Eye of the Leopard on the lead at the eighth pole.

Pool Play wore down Eye of the Leopard in the final furlong, and scored by three-quarters of a length, in a time of 3:01.42. Helicopter closed very wide to finish another 1 1/4 lengths behind Eye of the Leopard in third. Perfect Shower was a close fourth in the nine-horse field.

Pool Play, who also won the allowance prep for the Valedictory, banked $108,000 for owner Bill Farish Jr. and trainer Mark Casse. Luis Contreras rode him in the prep, but Husbands got the mount back on Sunday.

“Patrick knows him better than anybody,” Casse said