Smart Sting became the first stakes winner produced by the champion turf mare Perfect Sting when she pulled away from the field to win the $248,448 Selene Stakes (Can-III) by 3 1/2 lengths in an upset at Woodbine Sept. 25 (VIDEO) .
There was no speed in the compact group of five 3-year-old fillies on Woodbine's Polytrack, and jockey Eurico Da Silva took full advantage aboard the Stronach Stables' homebred. Smart Sting set a reserved pace while under pressure from Anne's Beauty and had plenty left for the stretch drive as Anne's Beauty and Queen's Plate winner Inglorious jostled for position behind her. She drew clear by 2 1/2 lengths at the furlong marker and came home under steady handling to complete the 1 1/16-mile test in a solid 1:43.73.
Anne's Beauty, ridden by Patrick Husbands, finished second by a neck over 9-10 favorite Inglorious after surviving a claim of foul from Inglorious' jockey, Luis Contreras, alleging interference.
The Selene was the first start on Polytrack for Smart Sting, whose previous six races had been on turf.
"She's been working great on the Polytrack and she's very well right now so why not (take a shot)," said elated winning trainer Roger Attfield, who won three races on the afternoon. "I said to Eurico in the paddock before the race to just let her run her race. Whatever happens, just let her run, and he gave her a great ride. The filly has a big future."
Smart Sting is a daughter of Smart Strike and the most recent of four starters in the broodmare career of Perfect Sting. The dam captured the 2000 Eclipse Award for owner Frank Stronach and was a multiple grade I winner of more than $2.2 million while victorious in 14 of 21 starts. The 11-time stakes winner's grade I victories included the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in 2000 and the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup and Garden City Handicap in 1999.
As a broodmare, Perfect Sting has had three winners and two grades stakes placers.
Smart Sting led early over Anne's Beauty, who broke from the rail but was able to angle to the outside on the backstretch to get the lead briefly following an opening quarter-mile in a slow :24.98. Anne's Beauty had a head in front at the half-mile point (:49.96) before Smart Sting forged ahead again on the far turn after completing six furlongs in 1:14.60.
Inglorious, camped between horses in third just behind the leaders, attempted to advance in tight quarters leaving the final bend but was unable to get clear as she and Anne's Beauty tangled in the lane. Smart Sting, in the meantime, was building an insurmountable lead and cruised home well in front at odds of nearly 6-1.
Smart Sting, coming off a second to Anne's Beauty in the one-mile Ontario Colleen (Can-IIIT) on the Woodbine turf Aug. 27, improved her career record to 3-1-2 in seven lifetime starts. The bay filly earned $145,860 for the victory and has now banked $263,442.
Da Silva, who engineered a closing trip in Smart Sting's last outing, was content to let his filly set the pace.
"Last time, I think I left a little too much for her to do," said Da Silva. "This time she was there on the front end, just galloping, and she ran a beautiful race. She made it look very easy, but there was another horse there (Anne's Beauty) watching me and it was not that easy. She ran a great race."
Racing without Lasix, Smart Sting carried 115 pounds and paid $13.70, $5.20, $2.40 as the second-longest shot in the field. Anne's Beauty had her two-race winning streak ended, returning $3.30 and $2.10 as the co-high weight at 119 pounds. Inglorious, who was coming off a last-place finish in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) in her first start since dominating the Queen's Plate June 26, paid $2.10 to show.
Inglorious, who has raced exclusively in stakes company in her nine-race career for trainer Josie Carroll, suffered her first loss in six starts at Woodbine.
Dynamic Holiday and Ms Silver Oak trailed.Achieving, also from the Carroll stable, was scratched by stewards.