Stalking Barefoot Lady, making her North American debut, seized the lead near mid-stretch and held on well to capture the $323,217 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) by 1 1/2 lengths on the Woodbine turf Sept. 16 (VIDEO).
The Canadian was the first of four graded stakes on the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) program at the Toronto track.
Irish-bred Barefoot Lady was a group III winner at Newmarket last year and followed that with a fifth-place behind Blue Bunting in the QIPCO English One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).
In her North American debut for British trainer Richard Fahey and owner Mrs. H. Steel, the 4-year-old daughter of English classic winner Footstepsinthesand was sent off at odds of 7-1. She was ridden for the first time by David Moran.
Barefoot Lady ran the 1 1/8-mile Canadian Stakes distance in 1:45.89 over a course rated "good." Southern California invader All Star Heart ran on for second under Brice Blanc, edging Stars to Shine and Alex Solis by three-quarters of a length. German-bred Kapitale, fourth in her North American debut in the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 18, ran fourth as the slight 5-2 favorite in the field of nine older fillies and mares.
Moran replaced Jamie Spencer on Barefoot Lady in order to take full advantage of the filly's 113-pound weight assignment.
"I had a great trip," Moran said. "I just moved her out and it was all over from there. She finished strong to the wire, and she had it in the bank," said an elated Moran.
The winner, racing without Lasix, paid $16.40, $8.40, and $5.50 as the sixth choice. All Star Heart, runner-up in the John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT) at Del Mar last month for trainer Ron McAnally, returned $5.90 and $3.70. The first two fueled a generous $93.80 exacta. Stars to Shine, rebounding from a ninth-place showing in the Beverly D. last time, was $4.60 to show.
Allison Daniel, assistant to Fahey, noted of the jockey change: "Just a little bit (unnerving). It worked out perfectly, to be honest. Davey is proven on the turf. He gave a great ride on the German horse (Lacara) the other day and did the same job today."
Daniel indicated that Barefoot Lady will return to Woodbine Oct. 14 for the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) at 10 furlongs on the lawn.
It was just the second win in eight starts this year for Barefoot Lady.
Barefoot Lady earned $185,166 for the victory and has now banked $454,855 in a 19-race career that includes five wins, two seconds, and three thirds. The bay filly had been keeping good company in Great Britain this year and was coming off a fourth-place effort in a group III test over nine furlongs at York Aug. 24.
Arbawny Ventures 2000Uc bred Barefoot Lady, who is out of the multiple stakes-placed Tenby mare Lady Angharad.
Irish-bred Laughing, coming off a front-running win in the Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park last time out, took the early lead under pressure from Stars to Shine while recording fractions of :24.61 and :48.59. Smart Sting ran third while Moran found a good stalking position in fourth for Barefoot Lady near the rail after she bobbled slightly at the start.
Stars to Shine challenged for the lead rounding the bend and took over from the weakening Laughing in upper stretch. Stars to Shine opened up on her rivals briefly in the lane. But Barefoot Lady, winding up her bid after angling out for the drive, challenged for the lead approaching mid-stretch and soon took control to win with relative ease.
All Star Heart, racing mid-pack on the outside, came on belatedly to secure second with Stars to Shine tiring to third. It was 2 3/4 lengths to Kapitale in fourth. She was followed by Indian Pond, Smart Sting, Moment of Majesty, Laughing, and Shimmering Moment.