Lemon Maid made easy work of five rivals in Saturday's $165,550 Duchess Stakes (Can-III) as the 2-5 favorite at Woodbine.Todd Kabel guided the bay daughter of Lemon Drop Kid to the 2 ½-length victory for trainer Malcolm Pierce and the Live Oak Plantation.Hatpin was second, while 31-1 longhsot Roving Angel was another 4 ½ lengths back in third.The running time was a razor sharp 1:22.03 for seven furlongs.Her third stakes tally and fourth win overall keeps Lemon Maid in consideration with the outstanding Gold Strike for the title of Canada's top 3-year-old filly.Lemon Maid, usually a speed threat, came from fifth to score in the Duchess. Kabel said the stretch-running trip was part of the race strategy."We were looking for an off the pace trip with her, to save her for the end and, hopefully, she would kick on nicely for us," Kabel said. "She did just that."It was Kabel's ninth stakes win of the stand.
"I always thought seven-eighths would be perfect for her," Pierce said. "She's done everything right so far. She's been a pleasure to be around."Lemon Maid, a Kentucky-bred, collected $97,920 for the Duchess win and now has $319,302 in career earnings.Gold Strike does have a higher profile than Lemon Maid off her win in the Labatt Woodbine Oaks and third in the Queen's Plate, but each does have a win against the other. Year-end honors are likely to be decided off results this fall.The winner paid $2.80, $2.30, $2.10. Hatpin returned $3.40 and $3.10. Roving Angel returned $4.80 to show.(Chart, Equibase)