A.P. Indy -- Dance Smartly Colt Breaks Maiden in Grey Breeders' Cup

Sam-Son Farm's homebred Dance With Ravens, a 2-year-old son of A.P. Indy, out of Canadian Horse of the Year Dance Smartly broke his maiden in impressive fashion Monday when he took the inside track to win the Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine.

The combination of a rail-skimming ride from Todd Kabel and a gutsy effort from his 2-year-old colt, made the maiden-breaking, half-length victory a special one for both the pilot and the connections of the impeccably-bred colt.

Dance Smartly was an Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old filly in 1991 and was named Horse of the Year in Canada after winning the Canadian Triple Crown. She has been an outstanding producer as well, throwing back-to-back winners of the Queen's Plate: Dancethruthedawn and Scatter the Gold. She is also the dam of grade I winner Smart Strike who stands at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky.

Ridden by Todd Kabel, Dance With Ravens broke alertly from the inside post, gaining a solid early position in the early stages of the 1 1/16-mile race.

"I had no alternative, I took back in the first turn," said Kabel of the colt's strong effort in his first career route race. "He's a real big baby, who's really not sure what he‚s doing out there yet."

Accountforthegold took the early lead, getting the opening quarter-milein :23.77. Kabel and Dance with Ravens had little choice but to remain on the rail, as mutuel favorite What's Up Dude was a menacing presence to their outside.

After Accountforthegold led the field through a half-mile in :48.51, Kabel and the Ontario-bred Dance With Ravens began to make headway, steadily gaining on the front-runner by saving ground along the inside path. Just after the turn for home, Kabel and his charge loomed large, engaging a gutsy Accountforthegold and the victory.

"I had to bide my time and that was my only opening," said Kabel, who recorded his leading 31st added-money triumph of the year, just one away from tying the late Avelino Gomez's mark of 32 set in 1966. "My horse fought a very game race and dug in very hard. Emile had a lot of horse underneath him and when I came up next to him, he was ready to battle down to the wire, but my horse prevailed."

The final time for the race was 1:47.79 over a main track rated as "fast."

"He's a big, heavy horse and it's been tough to get him fit," said trainer Mark Frostad. "He wasn't absolutely fit today, but the horse really dug in and ran a great race."

With the CAN$162,000 winner's purse, Dance with Raven's bankroll now stands at $223,820 in three career starts. The colt was making his main track start Monday after beginning his career with two outings on turf.

He paid $4.80, $3.40 and $3.10 across the board, combining with Accountforthegold ($7.80, $4.80) for a $50.50 exacta. Criminal Mind ($4.80) rallied late to round out a $156.20 trifecta.