Sheila's Prospect Hangs On in Bessarabian

Sheila's Prospect held off a late flurry of challengers to capture Woodbine's $175,300 Bessarabian Stakes (gr. III), with jockey Jim McAleney aboard, on Wednesday night.

The victory atoned for the 4-year-old filly's loss in the Ontario Fashion Stakes, when she rallied to capture a mid-stretch lead before relenting victory in the final strides to Feathers.

Once again she had a mid-stretch lead, but this time, she held on.

McAleney had the dark bay on the outside behind pace-setters Victory At Sea and Miss Sweep. At the top of the stretch, he took Sheila's Prospect to the lead with little urging in the early stretch. When asked, she responded with determination in deep stretch and eventually held off a stubborn Miss Sweep on the inside and Lightning Pace on the outside. Sheila's Prospect won by a neck.

The time of the race was 1:22.98 over a track rated fast.
It was a first career stakes score for Sheila's Prospect, and raised her career earnings to $440,156 for owner K.K. Sangara.

"It was pretty exciting," said trainer Lorne Richards. "It looked like she might get caught but she held on."

McAleney has now ridden Sheila's Prospect to victory five times this season.

"She's had a great campaign," he said. "I think she's very deserving of a stakes win. She ran her eyeballs out today. This filly had to give everything she had today just to hang on, and she did."

Sheila's Prospect returned $16.20, $6.20, $3.60 combining with Miss Sweep ($3.50, $2.70) for a $54.90 exacta. Lightning Pace ($4.30) completed the $23 trifecta.

Gigawatt Delivers in Display Stakes

Stonerside Stable's Gigawatt delivered on his 2-to-5 post-time odds by taking Wednesday's $135,625 Display Stakes at Woodbine without much difficulty.

The 2-year-old son of Wild Again broke his maiden in September with an impressive 17 ¼-length victory. After following that effort with a narrow defeat in the Grey Breeders' Cup to Wando, the Kentucky-bred was rested with the Display in mind. The planning clearly worked out.

Ridden by Patrick Husbands, Gigawatt was relaxed behind pace-setter Whispered Warning during the 1 1/16-mile test through fractions of :23.19, :46.88, and 1:10.71. At the head of the lane, Husbands asked the juvenile for run, and he responded by taking over the lead and lengthening his advantage. Gigawatt won the event by 2 1/4 lengths over a late charging Chad's Hope.

The final time of the Display was a quick 1:43.04 over a "fast" main track.

Gigawatt returned $2.90, $2.10 combining with Chad's Hope ($5.30) for a $6.95 exacta. Tackling Stress finished third in the event. There was no show wagering.

Quiet Dare Rallies to Win Sunny's Halo Stakes
Quiet Dare, in only his third career start, rallied to defeat six juvenile rivals in Wednesday's first running of the $108,000 Sunny's Halo Stakes

The winner turned in a sparkling 6 ½ furlong time of 1:15.77, over a track rated "fast". In victory, the Augustin Stable runner boosted his lifetime record to two-for-three with $113,280 in earnings.

With David Clark in the irons, the gelded son of Quiet American was relaxed off the early pace set by Shipman and Penthouse Prince. The large and imposing dark bay settled in the two-path for most of the race, before unleashing a three-wide move at the top of the stretch. Under Clark's urging, Quiet Dare glided past the front-runners to win by 6 1/2 lengths.

According to trainer Mac Benson, Quiet Dare will be rested following Wednesday's win, with a promising 2003 season in store.

"He's a great big colt," said Benson. "We'll put him away now, and hopefully we'll have a great three-year-old next year."

Quiet Dare returned $4.30, $2.80, $2.40, combining with Shipman ($4.00, $3.00) for a $13.40 exacta. Sonofawac ($5.00) completed the $106 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)