Recent claimer Atlantic Hurricane likely wrapped up a Sovereign Award as Canada's leading female sprinter when she romped to a five-length victory in the $162,312 Bessarabian Stakes (Can-III) (VIDEO) Oct. 20 at Woodbine.
Trained by Stuart Simon, the 4-year-old daughter of Halo's Image won for the sixth time in eight starts at Woodbine in 2011. Simon claimed the filly for $40,000 in June on behalf of himself and co-owners B. and R. McLellan and C. Hollick. In addition to her Bessarabian win, Atlantic Hurricane captured the Ontario Fashion Stakes in her most recent start Oct. 30 and also took the Seaway Stakes (Can-III) Sept. 3.
Facing a solid group of female sprinters, Atlantic Hurricane seized the lead coming off the turn while three wide for Emile Ramsammy and took command under a strong hand ride. She completed the seven furlongs on Polytrack in an excellent time of 1:21.77.
Simon expected a big effort from his filly, who earned a career-best 93 Beyer speed figure winning the Ontario Fashion.
"I had a lot of faith in her today, she's probably better than she's been all year," said Simon. "You're still leery, because you have to run the race and things can happen, but I'm so confident in her right now."
Mullins Beach settled for second with Justin Stein aboard, two lengths ahead of favored Embur's Song, the 124-pound top weight ridden by Patrick Husbands.
Second choice Atlantic Hurricane raced in third on the outside of the rail horse, 54-1 shot Moonlit Beauty, who showed the way over Zermatt through swift fractions of :22.58 and :45.18. Atlantic Hurricane, who was being followed by the stalkers Mullins Beach and Embur's Song, surged to the front in upper stretch and was never threatened.
Joseph and Thomas DiGrazia bred Atlantic Hurricane, who is out of It's the Cat's Meow, by Stormy Atlantic . The chestnut filly was initially sold at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training in April 2009.
Improving her career record to 8-2-1 in 15 starts, Atlantic Hurricane boosted her bankroll to $428,699 with the winning purse of $87,579. She was previously trained by Michael Silvera for Calypso Stable and Rousseau Racing.
Atlantic Hurricane carried 121 pounds and paid $8.60, $4.50, $3.40. Mullins Beach, sent off at 28-1, returned $16.40 and $7.30, completing a $194.60 exacta. Embur's Song, winner of the Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) and Ontario Matron this season and second to Atlantic Hurricane in the Seaway, was $2.60 to show.
Happy Week finished fourth, followed by Ariana D, Moonlit Beauty, Zermatt, Amiable Grace, Miss Lola, and Dance to the Moon.