Lahaleeb produced the biggest upset in the 54-year history of Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) (VIDEO) when she came from off the pace in the stretch to win the $964,356 test for fillies and mares at odds of 44-1 Oct. 17.
Ridden by William Buick, the 3-year-old Irish-bred filly surged past group I Irish winner Rainbow View leaving the eighth pole and drew away to win by 1 3/4 lengths. She completed the 1 1/4-mile distance in 2:02.89 over firm going at the Toronto track.
Lahaleeb, a two-time group winner in England for trainer Mick Channon, earned a berth in the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita, but her connections may decline due to the filly's preference for soft ground.
“We kept it very simple. We just did exactly what we did at home,” said an elated Channon. “We didn’t do anything different. We didn’t treat her with anything. She came very fresh. If you’d seen her in the paddock beforehand, she did throw a few bucks and kicks in. We got it spot on.
“The Breeders’ Cup would be a lovely thing, but, we do think she needs a little bit of a cut in the ground, which is why we came here, really. So, we are not to sure really, It’s a question of one race at a time.”
Rainbow View, the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight, finished a clear second, with Princess Haya rallying for third four lengths behind the winner.
"My first group I, so it's very special," Buick said immediately after the race. "She had a long year back home, but she was in great form."
Buick enjoyed a pushbutton ride aboard the bay daughter of Redback, settling easily into sixth along the inside as Roses 'n' Wine, pushed along by an anxious Treat Gently, carved pedestrian quarter-mile fractions of :26.21 and :50.50 before Treat Gently took a slim lead for Garrett Gomez while completing six furlongs in 1:14.61. Lahaleeb moved up between horses on the final turn and edged closer at the rail in upper stretch as several challengers descended upon Treat Gently.
Rainbow View, ridden by Julien Leparoux, emerged from the pack with a narrow advantage mid-stretch as Lahaleeb switched off the rail with a nifty move by Buick. Lahaleeb closed furiously on the outside of Rainbow View to win easily while kept to the task to the wire. The late-running Princess Haya, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, close willingly for third while never threatening. The stalker Eastern Aria finished fourth. Then came Salve Germania, Treat Gently, Look Here, and Roses 'n' Wine.
Rainbow View won the Matron Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown for trainer John Gosden in her last start.
Owned by Mohammed Al-Qatami and Khalid Al-Mudhaf, Lahaleeb had lost five in a row since taking the Fred Darling Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Eng-III) at Newbury in April. Included in that streak was a second-place finish by a neck to Again in the Boylesports.com Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 24. She was fifth against males in the Solonaway Stakes (Ire-III) at the Curragh Sept. 13 in her last start prior to the E.P. Taylor. Lahaleeb had been well-beaten by Rainbow View in two previous tries.
Lahaleeb earned $577,920 for her fifth win in 16 starts to boost her career total to $888,157. Tom Twomey bred Lahaleeb, who is out of the Blushing Flame mare Flames.
Lahaleeb paid $90.70, $32.90 and $12.80 across the board, topping a $2 exacta with Rainbow View ($3.70, $2.60) worth $310. Princess Haya, who upset Forever Together in winning the Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) in her last start for trainer Michael Matz, was $4.60 to show.