Favored Inglorious came from off the pace for a patient Luis Contreras and overtook pacesetter Spooky Kitten in the final 70 yards to capture the $511,509 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser at the Canadian track June 5 (VIDEO) .
Trained by Josie Carroll for owner Donver Stable, Inglorious won by three-quarters of a length. She ran the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:51.77 for her fourth win from six lifetime races, all in stakes.
The victory was the first for Carroll in the Woodbine Oaks, the most prestigious race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies. Carroll was the first female trainer to win Woodbine's Queen's Plate with Edenwold in 2006.
“I was thinking it was a bit crowded here (around the far turn)," Carroll said. "Then I saw Luis starting to angle, and I thought he rode a heady race. I thought if we’ve got enough horse, we’re okay. I thought she was (strong down the stretch).”
Carroll is the second female trainer to win the Woodbine Oaks, following Carolyn Costigan's victory last year with Roan Inish.
Arosa Farms bred Inglorious, a bay daughter of Hennessy--Noble Strike (by Smart Strike ) that cost $83,556 as a yearling in Canada. She was purchased by Donver Stable (Donna and Vern Dubinsky of Sherwood Park, Alberta) at the select yearling sale conducted by the Ontario division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society in 2009.
Nine fillies, all bred in Ontario, contested this year's Oaks. After an even break Spooky Kitten, a $12,500 supplementary entry by trainer Mark Casse, hustled to the lead on the outside for Edgar Prado. She showed the way by about a length over Bear It's Time with Marketing Mix and Roxy Gap close by through easy quarter-mile splits of :24.89, :50.57, and 1:15.31.
A well in hand Inglorious, as far back as seventh after a half-mile, raced between horses slightly off the rail through the final turn for Contreras, Woodbine's leading rider this year.
Inglorious switched to the outside of the leaders in upper stretch and came charging into contention, rallying past Marketing Mix approaching the eighth pole. Inglorious still had to catch Spooky Kitten, leading by just over one length at that point, but she continued to drive for the wire and got up with room to spare.
“I was in the best position in the arc," said Contreras after the biggest win of his career. "I was behind the horses waiting for my move. She’s amazing, what can I say?”
Spooky Kitten held second by 1 1/4 lengths over Marketing Mix, ridden by Jose Lezcano. It was another 4 1/4 lengths farther back to Roxy Gap in fourth, followed by Silver Ami, Bear It's Time, Grand Style, Charismatically, and Abrianna.
Inglorious was sent off as the 8-5 choice following a sharp 1 1/2-length tally in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette Stakes as the odds-on choice May 15 at Woodbine, the track where she captured a pair of stakes to begin her career as a 2-year-old late last year.
She opened her 2011 campaign at Fair Grounds, finishing second in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) in February, followed by a fourth-place showing as the favorite in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 26. Carroll had been considering the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) for Inglorious up to that point, but decided to return home instead.
The winter book favorite for the Queen’s Plate, Inglorious may take on the boys in the $1 million race June 26.
“After her race today, we’ll see how she comes out of it, and we’ll play it by ear,” Carroll said.
Inglorious earned $306,660 for her win in the Woodbine Oaks and has now banked $657,863 in her career.
Inglorious paid $5.20, $3.40, and $2.40 while keying a $39.90 exacta. Spooky Kitten, a $20,000 claim by Casse for owner Roddy Valente in April, improved off her fifth-place effort in the La Lorgnette. She returned $7.70 and $4.70. Glen Hill Farm's Marketing Mix, runner-up in the seven-furlong Fury Stakes April 30 for trainer Tom Proctor, paid $3.40 to show.
The Oaks is the first leg of the filly Triple Tiara, with the next race, the Bison City Stakes, scheduled for July 3. The final leg is the Wonder Where Stakes July 31.
In another stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the Woodbine card, favored New Normal closed quickly in the final furlong to defeat pacesetting Speightstown Lady by 1 1/4 lengths in the $102,219 Alywow Stakes on the turf.
Husbands rode New Normal to victory for owner/breeder R.S. Evans and trainer Mark Frostad. New Normal, a daughter of Forestry--New Economy (by Red Ransom), ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.87 on "good" ground for her third victory in six starts.
New Normal won the Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT) on the Woodbine turf last September before finishing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.
Speightstown Lady finished second by three-quarters of a length over Classy Zip.