Atlantic Hurricane, claimed by trainer Stuart Simon for $40,000 in June, notched the fifth victory of her impressive 2011 campaign in the $152,774 Ontario Fashion Stakes at Woodbine Oct. 30.
The 4-year-old Halo's Image filly out of It's the Cats Meow, by Stormy Atlantic , won four consecutive races between June and September, including the Seaway Stakes (Can-III). She rebounded from a disappointing third-place effort in the Avowal Stakes Oct. 1 to earn the Ontario Fashion honors under jockey Emile Ramsammy.
Waccamaw broke running to set a swift quarter in :22.44 as Atlantic Hurricane stalked from second position in the six-furlong Polytrack sprint. The compact six-horse field chased Waccamaw through the turn following the half in :45.01.
Ramsammy pushed the button on Atlantic Hurricane in mid-stretch and the filly blew by Waccamaw in the final strides to win by a half-length in a time of 1:09.23. Waccamaw, ridden by Sebastian Madrid, held on for place, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of a closing Ariana D, the 4-5 favorite with Omar Moreno aboard.
Ramsammy said he followed Simon's instructions to the letter.
"I just did like Simon says," he laughed. "Last race she was a bit rank and we had a slow track. We liked her an awful lot going into this race, and she didn't disappoint us."
Simon, who co-owns the winner with B. and R. McLellan and C. Hollick, believes a number of factors were responsible for Atlantic Hurricane's lackluster effort in the Avowal. She was 9 3/4 lengths behind the winning Ariana D.
""I just think the track was really deep and she didn't settle," he said. "We had better circumstances today. I think she might have bounced a little off the effort before that race, too (following a win in the Seaway). I did things a little differently going into this race, and I think we got the results we wanted. I trained her a touch harder and I trained her the morning of the race, and just some tweaking with her agenda going into it."
With the victory, Atlantic Hurricane improves her career record to seven wins, two seconds and a third from 14 lifetime starts. Simon expects to send out Atlantic Hurricane in the Bessarabian Stakes Nov. 20 for the final start of her 2011 season.
Joseph and Thomas DiGrazia bred Atlantic Hurricane in Florida.
She paid $8, $5.20, $2.60, combining with Waccamaw ($12.70, $4.10) for a $101.80 exacta. Ariana D ($2.10) completed a trifecta worth $179.40.
Fantastic Cousin, Mullins Beach, and Dance to the Moon completed the order.