07/03/2006 12:00AM

Sky Conqueror wins King Edward

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Sky Conqueror ($12.00) wins the Grade 2, $300,400 King Edward Breeders' Cup Stakes at Woodbine on Monday.

Sky Conqueror manhandled a quality field in the Grade 2, $300,400 Monday at Woodbine.

Sky Conqueror raced about 2 1/2 lengths off a slow pace on the backstretch of the nine-furlong turf event. He trailed on the turn, then commenced a wide rally at the top of the stretch under Todd Kabel.

Sky Conqueror hit the front at the eighth pole, and then drew clear to score by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:46.64. Le Cinquieme Essai wound up second after dueling for the lead with Shoal Water, who faded to finish a close fourth. Diamond Green, the 4-5 favorite from Belmont, was third in the six-horse field. T.D. Vance was scratched.

Kabel said things worked out well for him in spite of the slow pace.

"The idea was to get him to settle in, and he did exactly that," said Kabel. "I had a lot of horse, and he responded well."

In gaining his first stakes victory, Sky Conqueror, trained by Darwin Banach, returned $12. He banked $180,000 for owner Bill Sorokolit.