By Woodbine Communications/ Chris Lomon

TORONTO – The $100,000 Lake Superior Stakes saw Patches O’Houlihan romp to the easiest of wins, Sunday at Woodbine.

The six-furlong race for 3-year-old colts and geldings is part of the Ontario Sired Heritage Series.

Originally slated for six furlongs on the E.P. Taylor turf, the race was switched to the Tapeta due to heavy rains the day before.

Breaking sharply from the outside post five, Patches O’Houlihan, with Daisuke Fukumoto in the irons, recovered quickly from an awkward beginning to strike front, as 74-1 Absolute Chairman settled into second spot.

Second choice on the tote board Poulin in O T sat third through an opening quarter reached in :22.64.

Patches O’Houlihan was comfortably on top by four lengths through a half in :45.16 and began to draw away effortlessly from his quartet of rivals around the turn for home. Ahead by five lengths at Robert Geller’s stretch call, the son of Reload-Maythefourthbwithu cruised under the wire an 8 ½-length victor.

One Bay Hemingway was second, followed by Sooner Lunar, Poulin in O T, and Absolute Chairman.

The final time for six furlongs was 1:09.96

“He broke okay, but he saw the inside horse (Absolute Chairman) and for a couple of steps, he got out for a little bit,” said Fukumoto. “After, he went straight. I just let him run comfortably on the front and it was an easy game for him today.”

Bred and owned by Frank Di Giulio, Jr., it was the fourth consecutive score for Patches O’Houlihan, who arrived at the Lake Superior off a 1 ¼-length win in the five-furlong inner turf Lake Huron, also an Ontario Sire Heritage Series race, on July 8.

Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Robert Tiller, who campaigned fellow hall of fame champion Pink Lloyd to numerous successes on and off the track, had plenty of praise for his latest sprint sensation.

“He’s a good-feeling horse,” said Tiller. “He’s not a hard horse to handle, but he’s a happy horse. He’s one of those horses that does everything right. He’s just a real racehorse and he wants to win. He’s got that desire to win.”

Patches O’Houlihan, now 5-0-0 from six starts, paid $2.90 for the win.

Patches O'Houlihan and jockey Daisuke Fukumoto winning the Lake Superior Stakes on July 30, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo).

Patches O’Houlihan and jockey Daisuke Fukumoto winning the Lake Superior Stakes on July 30, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo).