Odds-on choice Tasty Temptation delivered her fourth consecutive victory when she collared pacesetter La Rocca in deep stretch to win the $115,338 Hill 'N' Dale Stakes (VIDEO) at Woodbine June 20.
Woodford Racing's Tasty Temptation, second in the 2009 Woodbine Oaks, reversed that finish this time when last year's Oaks winner, Milwaukee Appeal, pipped La Rocca for second with a late surge. Tasty Temptation won the event for fillies and mares by one length while completing the 1 1/16-mile distance in a time of 1:43.93 over the Polytrack.
With regular rider Patrick Husbands aboard, Tasty Temptation earned $70,495 for her first stakes win of the year. She is three-for-three in 2010 with earnings of $167,929. Winning trainer Mark Casse said the 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro --Parisia, by Tethra, had to work hard for the fifth win of her 13-race career.
"She ran so hard in the (May 29 allowance) race," said Casse. "She may have bounced (today). She was a little dull, but she was still able to win. I think she's improved this year."
Tasty Temptation won that race, also at 1 1/16 miles, by 3 1/2 lengths.
La Rocca led the way in the Hill 'N' Dale for James McAleney, maintaining a 1 1/2-length lead over the stalkers Milwaukee Appeal, You Will Love Me and Tasty Temptation through quarter-mile fractions of :24.34, :48.29 and 1:12.12. Tasty Temptation, tracking from as far back as five lengths while racing three wide for Husbands, ranged up on the outside in the drive and gradually put away the stubborn La Rocca, who led past the sixteenth pole.
Milwaukee Appeal, who rated at the rail for Stewart Elliott, lost some ground in the stretch but angled out a bit and made a bid between foes in the final stages to grab second by a neck over La Rocca. You Will Love Me faded to fourth while Flashy Got Even trailed throughout in the five-horse field.
Last year, Tasty Temptation was second in the La Lorgnette and Woodbine Oaks and fourth in the Queen's Plate. The gray/roan filly ended her sophomore campaign with a half-length score in the Wonder Where Stakes. She has earned $531,010.
With the win, Woodford Racing is eligible to receive a 2011 breeding season to one of three Hill 'N' Dale stallions: Zensational , Roman Ruler or Heatseeker .
Josham Farms bred the winner in Ontario.
Tasty Temptation returned $3.60, $2.10 and $2.10, combining with Milwaukee Appeal ($2.50, $2.10), last year's Canadian champion 3-year-old filly, for a $5.90 exacta. La Rocca ($2.40) rounded out an $11.20 trifecta.