07/16/2011 4:40PM

Woodbine: Clement Rock hangs on to win Toronto Cup

Email
Michael Burns
Clement Rock, with Luis Contreras riding, wins the Toronto Cup.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Clement Rock didn't win like a 3-5 shot should, but he did get the job done under Luis Contreras in the $156,000 Toronto Cup Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.

Joes Blazing Aaron set a slow pace while being pressed by Celtic Conviction in the route for 3-year-olds, which was run over about nine furlongs on a very firm turf course.

Clement Rock, normally a closer, stalked the leaders around the turn, before hitting the front early in the stretch. After establishing a clear lead at the eighth pole, he appeared to idle, but was able to hold on for a neck score over 31-1 shot Celtic Conviction. River Lemon finished another head back, while edging out two others for third. The final time was 1:46.98.

Clement Rock ($3.40) is unbeaten in three grass starts. He collected $90,000 for Melnyk Racing Stable and trainer Mark Casse.

"It was a crazy-run race," said Casse. "When he was up near the pace, I was like 'Oh boy.' Luis said he could have ridden him a little better. He thought maybe he moved a little quick, and when he got to the lead, [Clement Rock] pulled himself up. He's a better horse when he has some pace to run at."