Front-running favorite Embur's Song registered her fourth consecutive stakes win when she held off an all-out Ariana D by three-quarters of a length in the $193,066 Ontario Matron (Can-III) (VIDEO) at Woodbine July 24.
The 3-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song posted her third grade III win of the year for Fares Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher. Bred in Ontario, Canada by Josham Farms, Embur's Song is fulfilling the promise she showed last year when she was ran third in the Woodbine Oaks and second in the Bison City Stakes as the odds-on favorite in both races.
Ridden by Patrick Husbands, 6-5 choice Embur's Song was steadied at the start of the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron, but quickly regathered herself on the Polytrack and headed to the front. She opened up a two-length lead over Hooh Why and maintained it while clipping off reserved quarter-mile fractions of :23.59, :47.63, and 1:12.01.
Set down at the top of the stretch as Hooh Why, Indian Apple Is, and reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Biofuel drew closer, Embur's Song spurted away again to lead by two lengths at mid-stretch. Ariana D, angled to the inside by Omar Moreno, was fifth at that point but came home under an all-out drive to make it fairly close at the end. Biofuel, the 7-5 second choice ridden by Jim McAleney, evened out late and was three-quarters of a length farther back in third.
The final time was 1:43.39, just over a second off the Polytrack mark of 1:422.22 set by True Metropolitan in November 2007.
Embur's Song entered the Ontario Matron off a nose victory in Presque Isle's one-mile Windward Stakes July 5. She previously dominated the Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) by 3 1/2 lengths at Woodbine May 14. She began her current win streak with a track-record effort in Keeneland's 1 1/16-mile Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) April 22.
Husbands was happy with the maturity Embur's Song displayed after being hustled to the front.
"I took a little hold of her after the turn and she was relaxed from there. She was traveling easy," said Husbands. "It played a big factor last time on the road at Presque Isle. Swinging home I had no horse, but the quality of her took me to the wire. Today, in the post parade, she was on her game. She's just a nice horse."
A $170,000 Keeneland September yearling sale in 2008, Embur's Song boosted her career earnings to $557,382 with her sixth win in 10 lifetime starts. She has not finished out of the money in eight tries over a synthetic track. The bay filly is out of Embur Sunshine, by Bold Ruckus.
Embur's Song carried 121 pounds and paid $4.70, $2.90, and $2.20. Ariana D, who was also second to Embur's Song in the Hendrie for trainer Laurie Silvera, returned $6.70 and $3.10. The exacta was worth $25.50. Multiple graded stakes winner Biofuel, the 124-pound top weight in the field of seven, paid $2.20 to show.
It was three lengths back to Indian Apple Is in fourth. She was followed by Hooh Why, Stormy Illusion, and Dancing Raven.