Awesome Slate delivered a knockout punch around the far turn en route a one-length victory in the Grade 3 $100,000 Premier’s Handicap on the October 9 Hastings Park card.
The son of Summer Bird rated well back in fourth under red-hot rider Richard Hamel before unwinding on the backstretch. The four-year-old swept past the leaders while three wide and spun into the stretch with only the finish line in front of him.
Longshot Crazy Prophet took a run at the lead down the straight but Awesome Slate held that one at bay, hitting the wire a comfortable one-length cushion.
“He needed things to go his way and they did,” said Hamel. “I made the lead a little early, but I just kept riding and hoping. The way things have gone this year I can’t seem to do anything wrong anyway.”
Awesome Slate was purchased at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton October Yearling sale by bloodstock agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina. He was a dominant 7 3/4-length winner of the Canadian Juvenile to close a successful two-year-old season. He then shipped east to finish third in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Down to kick off his sophomore campaign.
The Premier’s Handicap is Awesome Slate’s seventh lifetime victory from 16 starts and his first win at the graded level.