It was not that long ago that Rachel Halden was at a crossroads in her training career. Horses and clients were hard to come by and she was forced to put her dream aside. That was in 2010, just two years after embarking on her own after 10 years as assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield.

Halden called an audible and worked for American trainer Bill Mott for a couple of years, tending to his horses who shipped to Woodbine. In 2012, former jockey Robert Landry, manager of the powerful Chiefswood Stable, sent her a handful of horses to train. One year later, Halden had her first classic win with Nipissing in the Woodbine Oaks.

The momentum has continued for the English-born Halden. In the midst of a career-best season of training a public stable, Halden sent out Garland Williamson’s lightly-raced Camp Creek to win the 126th Breeders’ Stakes at 26-1.

“I can’t say I was expecting it, but we were hopeful and thought he deserved a chance,” said Halden. “To me, he was just an improving horse. I’d been looking to get him on the grass for a while and when we did he won quite nicely and it looked like a stretch out in distance wouldn’t be an issue for him. Sometimes, when you have a three-year-old Canadian-bred you need to take a chance at these kinds of races.”

Williamson also had to plunk down an extra $12,500 (Cdn) to supplement the lanky grey gelding by Dunkirk—Go Go Neigh by Storm Boot since the sophomore was not originally nominated to the Canadian Triple Crown. It was money well spent since the winner’s share for the Breeders’ totaled $300,000.

“I wasn’t really surprised, actually,” said Williamson, who owns Hillsbrook Farm in Erin, ON with his wife Marie. “I was a little surprised at the odds. I thought he was an improving horse.”

Ridden by Rafael Hernandez, Woodbine’s newest addition to the jockey colony, Camp Creek, blew away Queen’s Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges (second) and Prince of Wales winner Amis Gizmo (sixth) to win the testing one-and-a-half mile turf tour.

“At the three-eighths (pole), I started to ask him to pick it up,” said the winning rider. “When we turned for home, I put him clear and he did everything on his own.”

Camp Creek defeated Sir Dudley Digges, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsay, by one-and-a-quarter lengths, while Leavem in Malibu rallied for third for owners Manfred and Penny Conrad. The time on firm turf was 2:29.45.

Hernandez moved his tack to Woodbine in the first week of July after recovering from a horrific spill at Gulfstream Park in February in which he lost a kidney. The Puerto Rican-born rider, who invaded for the Plate in 2015 and won on Frank Stronach’s Shaman Ghost, has been an instant hit at Woodbine.

The Canadian Triple Crown thus ended with three different winners once again. Wando was the last to sweep the series, doing so for Gus Schickedanz in 2003.

The Williamsons raced their first horse in their white and yellow maple leafed-silks in 2000.

The couple has had some notable grey horses before Camp Creek. They raced Like a Gem, the 2006 Wonder Where Stakes winner who earned over $550,000 in her career and is now part of the Hillsbrook broodmare band.

Like a Gem is from the Williamsons’ mare Its a Ruby, who has been producing foals for the couple since 2002. Among her best runners included stakes winner Win and Reign and stakes placed Cool Gator.

Go Go Neigh was the first foal for It’s a Ruby and she has produced six winners in total. The mare’s 2-year-old of this year is the promising Hansen filly Erin Commodity who was second in her career debut.

Like a Gem of the Williamson’s superstar mare Hard Not to Like, won the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in 2014 and was later sold at auction by the couple for $1.5 million.

Camp Creek’s victory was the fourth win for Hillsbrook in a season that is close to being its best on the track.

“He’s a nice horse,” said Williamson. “Anytime you breed a nice horse you hope for good racing luck.”

“At the three-eighths (pole), I started to ask him to pick it up,” said the winning rider. “When we turned for home, I put him clear and he did everything on his own.”