Skylander Girl leads the way home in the Hendrie Stakes.

Skylander Girl leads the way home in the Hendrie Stakes.

Michael Burns

Skylander Girl Makes the Grade in Hendrie

First graded score earned by daughter of Stroll May 9 at Woodbine.

Alexander P. Patykewich's Skylander Girl became a graded stakes winner when she took Saturday's $142,917 Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) May 9 at Woodbine (VIDEO).

Racing second soon after the start behind the pace of the 4-5 favorite Unspurned, Skylander Girl and jockey Emile Ramsammy made an early move to grab the lead down the backstretch, opening up a commanding advantage and never looking back to give the 4-year-old filly her first graded stakes score.

Miss Mischief, the longest shot in the field of six, caught Unspurned in deep stretch to be second best, 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner.

Paladin Bay finished fourth and was followed out by Disco Barbie and Checkered Past.

Patykewich, who also trains the horse, gave all the credit to jockey Ramsammy.

"I didn't want her to go to the front," Patykewich said. "The speed just killed her last time. I told him to run a half-mile and then go with her. She's a nice filly."

"I must commend Alex. He let me ride his filly as the race comes up," said Ramsammy. "We discussed that being on the lead might be the best thing. We had a good post on the outside and I told Alex I was going to come out racing and if we find ourselves on the lead, I'll ride her on the lead. She really enjoys running up front, that's her game."

Skylander Girl notched a :45 flat half-mile and hit the three-quarter mark in 1:08.71, but it failed to take any energy out of the filly down the lane.

"She was just running on cruise control. She's a good filly and the best horse in the race today," said Ramsammy, who was winning his first added-money event since guiding Atlantic Hurricane to victory in the grade III Bessarabian Stakes on November 20, 2011.

In her previous start, Skylander Girl battled from the start of the April 18 Whimsical Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine before tiring late to second when run down by Unspurned.

This time the daughter of Stroll  sat just off of Unspurned through the first quarter of a mile in :22.85 before grabbing the lead and carrying on to victory.

It was just the fourth win from 22 starts for Skylander Girl, who was bred in Ontario by Auchamore Stud from the mare Heliotrope.

After finished second in her debut at Woodbine on June 8, 2013, Skylander Girl won the 2013 My Dear Stakes making just her second career start. In her fourth start she won the Ontario Debutante Stakes on Aug. 10, 2013 before dropping her next 11 races, then finally prevailing in an allowance race at Woodbine on Sept. 28, 2014.

She had lost her last five starts before taking the Hendrie and now has earned $556,721 in her career.

Skylander Girl completed the 6 1/2-furlong test in 1:15.12 over Woodbine's synthetic main track that was labeled fast.

Sent off as the second choice in the field of six, Skylander Girl returned $8.10 to win, $5.50 to place and $2.70 to show. Miss Mischief paid $14 to place and $4.20 to show, while Unspurned returned $2.20 to show.