Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s Toews On Ice took command at the head of the stretch and cruised home by two lengths over Entertainer to win the second running of the $100,000 William Walker for 3-year-olds on a rainy Saturday night at Churchill Downs to open the 2016 Spring Meet.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by David Lopez, Toews On Ice covered the six furlongs on sloppy track in 1:10.91.The victory was the 40th stakes triumph for Baffert at Churchill Downs and gave Lopez a victory beneath the Twins Spires on his first mount at Churchill Downs and his first victory as a journeyman rider.
Twizz led the field through an opening quarter-mile in :21.62 with Toews On Ice just off the pace racing in the three path. Lopez sent Toews On Ice after the leader on the far turn, grabbed the lead at the top of the lane and never was threatened in posting his fourth stakes victory,
The victory was worth $62,000 and raised Toews On Ice’s bankroll to $307,700 with a record of 8-4-1-2.
Toews On Ice is a Kentucky-bred son of Archarcharch out of the D’wildcat mare Wild Forest Cat.
Favored in the field of five, Toews On Ice returned $4.20, $3.40 and $2.40. Entertainer, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $5 and $2.60 and finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of Sheikh of Sheikhs who returned $2.60 to show under Jose Valdivia Jr.
Twizz finished another two lengths back in the fourth and was followed by Patton Proud.
Racing resumes Tuesday with a 10-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m. ET.
WILLIAM WALKER QUOTES
DAVID LOPEZ (Jockey of Toews On Ice, winner) – “He broke a step slow. The 2 (Sheikh of Sheikhs) didn’t show the speed I expected him to, but I decided to stay close. It was all I had to do, the rest was all him. They trained him perfectly up to this race. (On winning his first race as a journeyman) This is a dream come true. As a kid growing up in Jersey, I would watch Bob (Baffert) come in and win the Haskell. Now, I’m winning races like this for him.”
JIMMY BARNES (Assistant to Bob Baffert trainer of Toews On Ice, winner) – “He ran good. We brought David (Lopez) here to work some horses for us. We gave him a mount today. He did good with it. I don’t know what happens next with the horse. Bob (Baffert) makes that call. I just get them ready and then hopefully get a picture taken.”