Front-running Tribal Belle held off the hard-charging favorite Simply Splendid by a diminishing neck to register her first stakes score for sizzling trainer Terry Jordan in the $141,879 Seaway Stakes (Can-III) (VIDEO) at Woodbine Sept. 5.
The Canvasback Farms' British Columbia-homebred daughter of Tribunal earned her eighth lifetime win in 13 starts in her graded stakes debut. The winning time for the seven-furlong Polytrack event for fillies and mares was 1:22.44.
Jim McAleney, riding Tribal Belle for the ninth time, sent her to the lead from the rail and she was able to set moderate fractions of of :23.49 and :46.60 while maintaining a one-length edge over the stalking Saskawea and Authenicat. In upper stretch, Verdana Bold, racing fourth on the turn, made a bold bid along the rail to challenge Tribal Belle. The leader responded to left-handed urging from McAleney to open up a two-length advantage mid-stretch.
Tribal Belle had to dig in to get the victory in the final sixteenth of a mile when Simply Splendid, the 8-5 favorite who lacked racing room on the turn, powered home on the outside for Tyler Pizarro. It was four lengths back to third-place finisher Exotic Bloom, who rallied from seventh in the stretch while being ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson.
"We did get some really comfortable splits,” said McAleney. “It was an absolute to go to the lead. I thought if there was anybody on the outside – there was a little bit of speed – and they wanted to go, this filly could sit off them.”
Jordan is winning at better than a 43% clip (28-for-63) at Woodbine this season. The victory is the eighth Woodbine stakes win of the season for the 40-year-old native of British Columbia.
Out of the Vying Victor mare B. B. Belle, Tribal Belle had not raced since a 10-length romp as the favorite in an optional claiming/allowance Polytrack race at Woodbine June 24. She has won six of 10 starts at the Toronto track. The Seaway victory was worth $82,809.
Sent off as the second choice, Tribal Belle carried 115 pounds and paid $6.70, $2.90, and $2.80. Simply Splendid, most recently second to Glitter Rox in the Belle Mahone Stakes Aug. 15 for trainer Gail Cox, returned $3.10 and $2.80. Exotic Bloom was $7.90 to show.
Authenicat, Crown of Diamonds, Foxy Danseur, Verdana Bold, and Saskawea completed the order of finish. Amazing was a stewards' scratch.