Front-running Barracks Road held off an all-out drive by 2-5 favorite Somme to win the $150,000 (US$145,110) Ontario Damsel Stakes on the Woodbine turf course July 10 (VIDEO).
Ridden by Corey Fraser, the winning Eugene Melnyk homebred captured the one-mile test for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies by three-quarters of a length while clocking a time of 1:35.42 over a course rated good. It was the first stakes win for the Mark Casse-trained daughter of Elusive Quality —Padmore, by French Deputy.
The Ontario Damsel is the the main turf stakes prep for the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes, the final leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara contested at 10 furlongs on the Woodbine lawn Aug. 1.
Barracks Road battled Amiable Grace for the early lead in the Ontario Damsel through an opening quarter mile of :24.47 before gaining a clear advantage on the backstretch. She ran the opening half-mile in :47.87 and three-quarters in 1:11.03. The bay filly had a 3 1/2-length gap on the stalking Somme, ridden by Patrick Husbands, at the quarter-pole and continued to lead by three lengths with a furlong to run.
Somme, carrying top weight of 123 pounds, made her charge but could not catch Barracks Road, who held sway under steady handling from Fraser. The winner carried 116 pounds.
Thislilsoulofmine rallied from last early in the five-horse field to finish a determined third with Chantal Sutherland aboard, 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner.
Barracks Road was coming off a sixth-place finish in the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow Stakes June 13 in which she finished 2 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Somme after weakening in the final furlong. She broke her maiden by 3 1/4 lengths on the Woodbine turf in her seasonal debut May 26. The bay filly improved to 2-0-2 in seven lifetime starts, all at Woodbine, with earnings of $144,052. She has won twice in four tries on the grass.
Somme, who won the Alywow by a half-length for trainer Josie Carroll, had her two-race victory streak snapped.
Sent off as the second choice, Barracks Road paid $8.40 and $3.20 and topped an $11.70 exacta. Somme returned $2.10. There was no show wagering. Thislilsoulofmine was followed by Tennessee Lamb and Amiable Grace.