Favored Dixie Strike, a half sister to 2011 Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate champion Inglorious, romped to a 5 1/2-length win in the $148,720 Ontario Lassie Stakes at Woodbine Dec. 3 (VIDEO).
The 2-year-old daughter of Dixie Union, trained by leading conditioner Mark Casse, defeated 11 Ontario-foaled filly rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Lassie. She completed the distance in 1:44.92 over Polytrack.
Ridden by Patrick Husbands, Dixie Strike notched her first added-money triumph when she rallied impressively from sixth with a wide bid off the final turn. She collared the leaders approaching mid-stretch and drew off quickly in the final furlong under steady pressure from Husbands.
Dixie Strike, a $43,456 Canadian yearling, is out of the Smart Strike mare Noble Strike. Arosa Farm is the winning breeder.
Rose and Shine, who defeated Dixie Strike by one length in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine Oct. 29, chased the winner to the wire to finish a determined second with Luis Contreras aboard. Awesome Fire with Chantal Sutherland was one length farther back in third.
John Oxley owns Dixie Strike. In her career bow, the Muskoka Stakes Sept. 5, Dixie Strike also finished second to Rose and Shine, beaten by three-quarters of a length, in the 6 1/2-furlong race.
Dixie Strike, who broke her maiden in her next try, has two wins and two seconds in four starts with earnings of $218,550.
“She has really been training well and really matured,” said assistant trainer Kathryn Sullivan. “She had big footsteps to follow in, but I think she has proven today that she will be able to do that.”
Sullivan was battling butterflies as Husbands searched for the winning path.
“I was a little nervous the whole way around, but again, Patrick had total confidence that he was going to find a spot if he had the horse.”
Dixie Strike, carrying 118, received five pounds from the runner-up and paid $7.40, $3.80, and $3. She combined with Rose and Shine ($4.60, $3.50) for a $31.20 exacta. Awesome Fire ($3.90) completed a $130.70 trifecta. A $1 superfecta with Blue Heart returned $238.75.