Dance to Bristol, giving the biggest effort of her career, disposed of favored Holiday Soiree on the turn for home and waltzed to a nine-length romp in the $200,000 Sugar Maple Stakes presented by CANTER Mid-Atlantic at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races April 20 (VIDEO).
The Sugar Maple, for older fillies and mares, immediately precedes the Charles Town Classic (gr. II) on the West Virginia track's lucrative program.
Xavier Perez guided second choice Dance to Bristol to her third consecutive victory for Copperville Farm and trainer Ollie Figgins III. The 4-year-old Speightstown filly out of the winning Louis Quatorze mare Dance to Dawn was bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. David Garner. The chestnut filly was a $42,000 buy out of the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training.
"When I got on her in the paddock, I knew she was a different horse tonight than times before," said Perez, who has ridden her in each race during the current streak. "She was 100 percent. When we hit the track she started bouncing."
The final time for the seven-furlong test was a good 1:23.79 over a fast track, off the course mark of 1:22.68 set by Good Lord June 30.
Holiday Soiree was the 6-5 favorite in the Sugar Maple, with Dance to Bristol just behind her in the wagering at 13-10.
Dance to Bristol raced in third on the outside in the six-horse field as Holiday Soiree and local hope Dangerous Vixen tussled for the early lead. Dangerous Vixen won the early battle and led Holiday Soiree and Dance to Bristol through fractions of :23.26 and and :47.04. Dangerous Vixen would quickly give way, setting up what appeared to be a two-horse race as the field reached the final turn on the Charles Town bullring.
But Dance to Bristol, asked for a response while three wide on the bend, easily pulled away from Holiday Soiree and took command impressively in the stretch under a single right-handed reminder from Perez. After opening a 4 1/2-length advantage, she traveled the final sixteenth geared down while continuing to pull away from the weakening Holiday Soiree. Bayonne finished third, 11 3/4 lengths behind the winner.
"When we got to the three-eighths pole, where my trainer told me to let her go, I just let her roll and she did it," Perez said. "She did an amazing job."
Dance to Bristol, who is based at Bowie for Figgins, picked up her first win in three tries at Charles Town after a pair of earlier seconds; it was also her first win in three starts at seven furlongs.
The improving filly won for the sixth time in 14 lifetime starts (with seven seconds) and extended her earnings to $350,880. This was her her third stakes win and followed back-to-back allowance victories at Laurel Park. She has won three of four starts this year.
Toting co-high weight of 120 pounds, Dance to Bristol paid $4.60, $2.40, and $2.20, combining for a $10.80 exacta with Holiday Soiree, who returned $2.40 and $2.20. Bayonne, ridden by Erick Ramirez, was $3.40 to show.
This was the second start at Charles Town for Holiday Soiree, who also was runner-up in the Charles Town Oaks Sept. 22. She was ridden by Kendrick Carmouche.
Kalambaka Queen finished fourth, followed by Katie Get Excited and Dangerous Vixen. Book Review scratched.