Overlooked Roan Inish closed with a rush between horses to win the $484,812 Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser (VIDEO) by a head over Moment of Majesty in a surprise finish at the Toronto track June 13.
Embur's Song, the 2-5 favorite in the field of eight Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies, finished third after opening a 2 1/2-length lead past mid-stretch and faltering in the final 70 yards.
That opened the door for Roan Inish, who charged home from mid-pack between Embur's Song and Moment of Majesty for jockey David Moran and got up in the final strides.
Roan Inish won Woodbine's Princess Elizabeth Stakes last Oct. 31 in her maiden victory and had just one start this year, finishing second in the seven-furlong Fury Stakes at Woodbine May 1.
Carolyn Costigan trains Roan Inish, a daughter of Elusive Quality --Inish Glora, by Regal Classic, for her father, Robert Costigan, who also bred the dark bay or brown filly. Listed at 6-1 on the morning line, Roan Inish went off at odds nearly double that.
"She's just a fighter, tooth and nail, tooth and nail," Carolyn Costigan said. "I just love her.
“We’ll go back to the barn and see how she is," she said. "She’s a horse that loves a dog-fight. I’m betting she’s probably feeling very good about herself. If it’s right for her, we’ll look at taking on the boys (in the July 4 Queen's Plate). It all goes back to the horse.”
Roan Inish completed the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks in 1:50.53 over the Polytrack.
It looked like everyone else was running for second as Embur's Song, unbeaten in two starts for trainer Todd Pletcher, took command early while setting pedestrian fractions of :23.93, :47.92 and 1:12.26 with Garrett Gomez in the irons. She pulled away from Resentless, who forced the issue in second, on the far turn and appeared to be home free in upper stretch.
Roan Inish, sixth for the opening half-mile, and Moment of Majestry, who trailed the field into the final turn for Robert Landry, wound up their bids, however. When Embur's Song began to weaken, they quickly closed the gap from the middle of the track. Moment of Majesty, on the far outside, appeared to get the lead briefly but Roan Inish, all out while under a drive from Moran, kept fighting to get up in time.
"The farther we go, the better," said Moran, who also rode Roan Inish in her Princess Elizabeth upset at 11-1 odds. "This filly is as genuine as they get. She's got a big engine."
Roan Inish, who began her career in Ireland last year, won for the second time in a seven-race career and earned $290,190 for the victory. Her career bankroll stands at $495,076.
Under equal weights of 121 pounds, she went off as the fourth choice and paid $25.80, $7.80 and $4. Moment of Majesty returned $14.50 and $5.30 and completed a $339 exacta. Embur's Song was $2.10 to show and rounded out a $2 trifecta worth $968.70.