Yvonne Schwabe's Surtsey, sent to post as the longest shot on the board at 41-1, scored an impressive upset win in the $144,256 Ontario Damsel Stakes (VIDEO) July 14 at Woodbine.
Surtsey, a chestnut homebred daughter of Heatseeker, was an impressive winner of the Fanfreluche Stakes in her final juvenile start, but was overlooked by the bettors in the one-mile turf stake for 3-year-old fillies bred in Ontario.
Trained by Kevin Attard, Surtsey stopped the clock in a swift 1:33.80 with Jermaine Bridmohan aboard. The victory completed a memorable week for Schwabe, the breeder of last weekend's Queen's Plate champion Midnight Aria.
Akron Moon led the field through sharp splits of :23.25 and :45.93 over the E.P Taylor Turf Course with Dance Again, Surtsey, and Adventure At Sea tracking her early foot.
Adventure At Sea edged closer through the turn, emerging with a narrow lead, but Surtsey, angled well off the rail, found another gear, and burst to the lead approaching mid-stretch. She went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Adventure at Sea held on for the place by one length over Dance Again.
Bridgmohan, who also rode the filly to victory in the Fanfreluche Stakes last year, was pleased with his trip.
"I think we make a pretty good team," he said. "She broke real sharp and I just wanted to give her a good experience. It was her first time on the turf, and going this long, and I just wanted her to relax and finish up, and boy did she ever."
Despite having only one sophomore start under her belt, Attard was confident the filly was on her game coming into the Ontario Damsel.
"Heatseeker's are running really well on the turf. We had an opportunity to work her on the turf last week and she worked really well," said Attard. "She's a little bit of a lazy horse, but she handled the turf really well, her stride was nice, and she came into the race in good order."
Surtsey, out of the Bold Executive mare Kick'em Jenny, has banked $213,117 while improving her record to 3-0-1 from eight career starts.
She returned $84.10, $23.30 and $7.70, pairing with Adventure At Sea ($10.40, $4.70) for a $643.70 exacta. Dance Again paid $2.90 to show and completed a trifecta worth $2,153.10. Bold Birdie completed a $1 superfecta worth $3,476.70.
Two races earlier, 2-year-old filly On Rainbow Bridge broke her maiden in style in the $145,027 Shady Well Stakes.
On Rainbow Bridge, trained by David Cotey for Triple K Stables, became the first stakes winner for apprentice rider Skye Chernetz with a 1 1/2-length score in the 5 1/2-furlong Polytrack sprint for Ontario-breds.
On Rainbow Bridge, who stalked pacesetter Where's the Carat before taking over mid-stretch, came home in 1:04.38 as a 5-1 shot. Paladin Bay rallied to earn the place position over Where's the Carat.
"We had a perfect trip, sat behind, a spot opened up, and she just went," said Chernetz.
The result was a complete turnaround from the dark bay's difficult third-place debut, she noted.
"The first time she ran, she was really green," said Chernetz. "We got left at the gate, but when she got in the stretch she picked it up and kicked on and we didn't get beat much. We knew she was going to be a good horse."
Bred by Osprey Stables, thw winning dark bay or brown filly is by Bold Executive out of the War Deputy mare Miss Deputy.
On Rainbow Bridge banked $86,553 for the victory, and returned $12.70, $7.10, and $4.70. She paired with Paladin Bay ($24.40, $8.80) for a $312.90 (1-6) exacta. Where's the Carat, $6.20 to show, completed a trifecta worth $2,475.30. Skylander Girl completed a $1 Superfecta that paid $4,876.25.