Trainer Malcolm Pierce accounted for the exacta in the $197,502 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-II) (VIDEO) when Overheard nipped favored Deceptive Vision in a terrific finish July 6 on the Woodbine turf.
The Dance Smartly, at 1 1/8 miles around one turn for fillies and mares, was the first of three graded stakes on the Queen's Plate undercard at Woodbine Sunday.
Eurico Rosa Da Silva guided Pin Oak Stable's homebred Overheard to a nose victory from off the pace on the far outside. The 4-year-old daughter of Macho Uno , the 5-2 second choice in the field of eight, was timed in 1:44.25 over firm turf.
Front-running Deceptive Vision, the 2-1 choice in the field of eight, was under severe pressure from several challengers through the long stretch drive. But she withstood the threat until the final strides when her stablemate surged to the lead in a four-horse blanket finish. Savvy Hester finished third, a nose behind the runner-up, with English Class a neck farther back in fourth.
"Both fillies ran hard and both deserved to win," said Pierce. "Unfortunately, one has to be a loser but it's nice to get the exactor."
English Class led the first quarter mile in :24.05, before Deceptive Vision, a full sister to Sam-Son Farms' 2009 Queen's Plate winner Eye of the Leopard , took over by a length after recording a half in :47.28. Further fractions were unavailable as Deceptive Vision maintained a narrow advantage into the homestretch in front of Savvy Hester and English Class.
Overheard, seventh at the three-eighths pole after settling along the inside, swung five wide for the drive and needed the entire stretch run to just get up under a full drive from Da Silva.
Winner of the Valley View Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland in October, Overheard had one prior start this year. She finished second by a head to Tannery in the listed Miss Liberty Stakes May 26 on the Monmouth Park turf.
"I was really confident I won the race," said Da Silva, who fist-pumped after crossing the wire despite the need for a three-horse photo. "I was so happy because I had such a bad trip the last time with this filly. I got stuck.The half went in 51 seconds. She could have won that race (if the pace had been quicker)."
Added Josephine Abercrombie, owner of Pin Oak, "She is special. We've adored her since the beginning. She's run beautifully since Malcolm's had her. We're happy."
The consistent bay filly, out of the stakes-winning Thunder Gulch mare Whisper to Me, has compiled a 5-4-3 lifetime mark in 12 career starts for Pierce with earnings of $451,340.
Pierce previously won the Dance Smartly in 2009 with Points of Grace.
Overheard carried top weight of 120 pounds and paid $7.20, $3.40, and $2.90. Deceptive Vision returned $3.20 and $2.70, combining with her stablemate for a $21.30 exacta. Savvy Hester paid $5.50 to show.
English Class was followed home by Industrial Policy, Surtsey, Theatre Star, and Precarious.