10/02/2016 6:08PM

Thor's Rocket takes wide route to Vice Regent triumph

Michael Burns
Thor's Rocket, left, won his first two-turn race with his Vice Regent triumph.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Thor’s Rocket overcame a wide trip to win his first start around two turns in Sunday’s $125,000 Vice Regent Stakes, giving trainer Paul Buttigieg his third victory in the race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds at Woodbine.

Thor’s Rocket ($9.30) went four-wide on the first turn in the 1 1/16-mile event, which was moved from the grass to the Tapeta early in the afternoon. He settled in sixth on the outside along the backstretch, and then loomed into contention in the stretch, catching Conquest Calvary on the wire to prevail by a head, in a final time of 1:44.49.

A troubled That’s A Stretch finished another half-length back in third. The favored Aye Aye Captain faded to sixth after hitting the front exiting the far turn.

David Moran rode Thor’s Rocket, a son of Old Forester, for the partnership of the Buttigieg Training Center and Gus Vlahos.

“If it was on the turf I would have just let him run his race, but for the first time going two turns, I tried to get him back in behind,” Moran said. “They were stacked up on the first turn, but once I got him (behind horses), he switched off. He was very, very game. He’s always been a nice horse. He still has a lot of improving in him. He’s slowly maturing all the time. I think he’ll be nice next year, actually.”