Third time’s the charm for Winston’s Chance in Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes

Monday, August 19th, 2019

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

In the 2017 and 2018 editions of Finger Lakes’ $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up, Char-Allie Stable and Kathy Haers’ Winston’s Chance had to settle for a pair of seconds. In his third try in the 1 1/16-mile contest this Monday, the 6-year-old gelded son of Roaring Fever set things straight for his connections with an authoritative victory and a trip to the winner’s circle.

Breaking from post two as the 3-5 favorite in the contentious field of five, the Debra Breed-trainee got away cleanly under jockey Nazario Alvarado and set up in third in the three-path for the trip around the clubhouse turn. Meanwhile Danebury (4-1), having gunned his way out of post four, had crossed over to assume a 1 1/2-length lead. Special Story pressed the pace two-wide.

As the early fractions ticked by in 23.69 and 47.22, Winston’s Chance advanced to within a length of Danebury, took over second from Special Story in short order and drew even with the pacesetter in the far turn.

Striking the front past the quarter pole, Winston’s Chance was essentially home free. He put Danebury completely away in upper stretch and opened his advantage to the point beyond which closers could threaten.

Winston’s Chance stopped the clock at 1:45.35 after completing a mile in 1:38.26. He crossed the finish line with 2 3/4 lengths to spare. Fleet Irish (4-1) rallied from last in the middle of the track to get a neck in front of Big Gemmy (3-1) for the place. Special Story finished fourth 3 1/4 lengths back, a neck ahead of Danebury. Uncle Sigh, Blugrascat’s Smile and Invaluable Will were scratched.

Winston’s Chance began the year in sprints at Finger Lakes in May and June, finishing third in a conditioned allowance and last in the George Barker Stakes. His form picked up with a pair of performances in routes. Second to graded stakes winner Control Group in an open allowance at Finger Lakes on June 25, just 12 days ago he finished third behind two very good horses –  Mr. Buff and Dynamax Prime – in Saratoga’s Evan Shipman.

For his career Winston’s Chance has won a third of his races – nine of 27 – with an additional 6 seconds and four thirds, earning $295,047 in all. Winner of the Leon Reed Memorial in 2018, Winston’s Chance can now put a second black-type victory on his resume. He has four additional stakes placings.

Bred by Sherry Washburn, Winston’s Chance is the first foal and one of three winners from three foals to start out of Betty’s Chance. A two-time winner by Duckhorn, Char-Allie Stable’s Betty’s Chance was bred in New York by Washburn in partnership with Michael Haers. Second dam Erica’s Chance (American Chance) New was bred in New York by Edwin Wachtel and also campaigned by Char-Allie Stable.

In 2019 Betty’s Chance foaled a colt by Honorable Dillon and has been bred to Destin.

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