Grand Style, a maiden 2-year-old filly by Giant's Causeway , found a great spot to produce her first victory when she came from off the pace to win the $247,035 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (VIDEO) at Woodbine Oct. 30.
With leading Woodbine jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva at the controls, Grand Style rallied five wide in the stretch to get the lead in the final stages, finishing out under a hand ride. The final time for the nation's premier race for Canadian-foaled juvenile fillies was 1:46.31 in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack test.
Grand Style, a $250,000 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga 2009 Select Yearling Sale buy, was supplemented to the race by owner G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and trainer Michael Doyle after three prior maiden starts.
Racing sixth in the field of 10 for a confident Da Silva, Grand Style charged into the lane while racing on the outside. Third at the eighth pole, she surged past 5-2 favorite Bubbles to the Top and outsider Sense of Pride late to win impressively. She earned $147,045 for the victory.
Isabella Bay set the early pace, clipping off fractions of :24.74 and :49.26 before giving way going on the far turn to the stalking Bubbles to the Top and Emile Ramsammy, who reached the six-furlong mark in 1:13.10. Bubbles to the Top was confronted in upper stretch by Sense of Pride and those two battled it out until passed by Grand Style.
Lisvernane, always in contention for jockey David Moran, persevered under strong urging to get second by a half-length. Sense of Pride, ridden by Patrick Husbands, edged Bubbles to the Top by a head for the show spot.
Grand Style, an Ontario-bred dark bay or brown filly bred by Sam-Son Farm, had come into the race off a third-place finish in a one mile and 70 yard Polytrack race at Woodbine Oct. 10. She is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Dancethruthestorm.
Da Silva was happy to see Grand Style, who was bet down from 12-1 odds on the morning line to 9-2, step up.
“I just tried to keep her focused in the race,” he said after riding Grand Style for the first time. “She has a lot to learn, but I think this filly will improve a lot. Another couple of races and I think she will be much better than what you saw today.”
Grand Style made her debut over the Saratoga turf, finishing seventh but beaten by just 1 ¾ lengths, at 1 1/16 miles July 30. She followed it up with an eighth-place effort on the Saratoga grass Aug. 25 before making her Toronto main track debut.
Sent off as the third choice, she paid $11.60, $5.50, and $3.90, combining with Lisvernane ($4.70, $3.50) for a $65.80 exacta. Sense of Pride ($6.90) completed a $831.10 trifecta. A $1 Superfecta with the favorite returned $2,063.40.
Charismatically was next, followed by Idratherbeatthespa, Dominating Force, Lucky Be Me, Isabella Bay, and Decker West.