Callwood Dancer was chased by two rivals through the length of the Woodbine stretch, but the Irish-bred daughter of Danehill Dancer had just enough to hold on during a thrilling finish in the $300,000 Nassau Stakes (Can-II) (VIDEO) May 31.

Setting the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Nassau, Callwood Dancer, with Eurico Da Silva aboard, carried a one-length lead to the top of the lane, but betting favorite Sealy Hill and Quiet Jungle were hot on her heels. Inside the sixteenth-pole it was Sam-Son Farms' Quiet Jungle who came between horses to challenge the leader. They hit the wire together, but after a photo it was determine that Callwood Dancer had a nose in front.

The final time on the turf was 1:40.46.

Trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, 3-year-old Callwood Dancer earned her first stakes victory for Harlequin Ranches. Bred by Quay Bloodstock, she is out of the Rahy mare Ahdaab.

Sealy Hill, the 2007 Canadian Horse of the Year, was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Callwood Dancer broke sharply from post five and Da Silva rushed her straight to the front. The chestnut filly went unchallenged on the lead despite posting easy fractions of :24.84 and :48.64. Quiet Jungle was close up early on, as were Arravale, The Niagara Queen, and Arden Belle.

As they approached the three-eighths-pole The Niagara Queen came up to challenge and briefly poked a head in front. But as they came out of the turn, Callwood Dancer regained the advantage and was set down for the long stretch drive.

The winner paid $20.10, $11, and $6.10. The exacta (5-6) returned $163.10, while the trifecta (5-6-1) was worth $577.90.

Callwood Dancer won for fifth time in 14 career starts. She entered the Nassau off a half-length score in allowance company May 9 on the Woodbine Polytrack, her first race in more than six months. Prior to that she finished sixth in the Oct. 19 Valley View (gr. IIIT)  at Keeneland in her graded stakes debut.

Callwood Dancer was purchased for $120,470 at the Goff’s Orby Million sale of 2005. She began her racing career in England, but did not break her maiden until last May at Woodbine.

Sealy Hill, who was also champion 3-year-old filly last year, was making her second start of the season. The 4-year-old daughter of Point Given  was in perfect position to run down Callwood Dancer after angling out to challenge in the stretch, but lacked a late kick under Patrick Husbands.

(Chart, Equibase)

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