Essex Serpent strikes in Grade 3 HPIbet Marine Stakes

TORONTO, June 29, 2024 – Essex Serpent through his name in as a serious King’s Plate contender with a strong victory in Saturday’s Grade 3 HPIbet Marine Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack.

A field of seven three-year-olds, including four King’s Plate eligibles, ran a mile and a sixteenth on the All-Weather main track for this year’s edition of the Marine.

Part of a Saturday stakes hat-trick for trainer Mark Casse, Essex Serpent and jockey Patrick Husbands broke well to get away in second behind Babbo. Essex Serpent would move to the lead midway up the backstretch, cruised comfortable around the final turn before responding when called upon to seal the victory.

Cameo Performance was positioned fourth turning for home and made a good stretch run to finish second by a length. Midnight Mascot was third, while Native Land was fourth.

The fractions were :23.45, :47.14, 1:10.69, 1:36.00 and the final time was 1:43.03.

A son of Honor Code, Essex Serpent was making just his third career start on Saturday after finishing second in Queenston Stakes on June 9 and winning a Maiden Special Weight on April 27. The Casse student has quickly proven to be a player among the Woodbine three-year-olds for breeder and owner Manfred and Penny Conrad.

“I knew I was on the best horse,” said Husbands of Essex Serpent. “Sid (Attard’s) horse (Babbo) is a speed horse and my horse comes with a sprint and I could see what Sid’s jockey (Eswan Flores) was doing and then by the five-eighths pole I could see him easing back and I say ‘hey I’m driving a jag man.’”

Husbands was reluctant to provide comment when asked about Essex Serpent’s King’s Plate chances.

“Let the horse talk.”

Essex Serpent is now 3-2-1-0 with more than $110,000 earned in his young career.

A $2 win ticket on Essex Serpent paid $13.70.