Gold Strike A Nugget in Woodbine Oaks

Harlequin Ranches' homebred Gold Strike overpowered the field in the $502,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks Sunday to become the first Manitoba-bred to win Canada's premier event for sophomore fillies since the Oaks began in 1956.

Gold Strike is eligible for the $1 million Queen's Plate on June 26 at Woodbine.

Ridden by Jim McAleney for trainer Reade Baker, the 11-10 favorite Gold Strike hit the front midway on the far turn and drew away in the stretch, holding second choice Ready and Alluring safe by 3 1/2 lengths. She completed the 1 1/8-mile event in 1:51 3/5 on a fast track.

Winner of the Selene (Can-III) by 5 3/4 lengths in her last start at Woodbine last month, Gold Strike improved her record to four wins and two seconds in six starts and earnings of $542,242 (Canadian).

Ready and Alluring, ridden by Javier Castellano, finished 10 lengths clear of the third-place finisher Victorious Ami.

Whiskey and Low finished a neck back in fourth, followed by Bosskiri, Dancehall Deelites, Pirouetting, Silver Impulse, River Nore and Archie's Gal.

Gold Strike was unhurried early but began to move on the pacesetter Bosskiri (:22 3/5, :46 3/5, 1:12) heading into the turn. She moved clear quickly after taking the lead while under vigorous urging from McAleney.

Ready and Alluring made a bid along the inside on the turn but was left behind by the winner's burst.

The winner paid $4.20, $2.40 and $2.30. Ready and Alluring returned $3.10 and $3. Victorious Ami was $7.40 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)