Shoestring Stable's Dressed For Action, who had managed only two second-place finishes in her four career stakes starts, put it all together Sunday afternoon at Woodbine, gamely capturing the $166,500 Ontario Damsel Stakes.
The Bold n' Flashy filly won by a nose victory under jockey Robert Landry, demonstrating a strong stride throughout the 6 ½-furlong turf race. But it was her never-say-die attitude that was firmly on display.
Dressed For Action was on the lead early, cutting quick fractions of :22.49 and :45:04 over "firm" turf, dueling with rival Elusive Thought. While her foe faded in the stretch, the Ontario-bred kept running, responding to a late challenge from 7-to-2 race favorite Miss Crissy to eke out the win in 1:16.75.
"She dug down deep," Landry said. "(Miss Crissy) got by her, but she's a trier and came back, you can't say anything more that. She'll run over anything. She's got a big heart and tries her hardest."
Dressed For Action, trained by Tony Mattine, finished second last time out to Tusayan in the Bold Ruckus Stakes. She was also second in the Nandi Stakes last year, but owner Jerry Edelist thought the Ontario Damsel would be her race.
"She's gutsy and consistent," said Edelist. "It was a wide-open race, but we thought she would run well because she loves the turf. It was really tight at the wire, so we weren't sure we won until the number was up on the board."
Overall, the Ontario Damsel was the filly's third lifetime win (worth $99,900), raising her career earnings to $270,796. She has now hit the mutuel board in eight of her nine starts.
Dressed For Action paid $12.30, $7.50, $4.80 across the board, combining with Miss Crissy ($6.40, $4.20) for a $50.50 exacta. Tamara ($4.40), who came from second last early to finish third, beaten a length, rounded out a $381.10 trifecta.