Every reunion should be this happy.It was just over a year ago when Emile Ramsammy last rode Quick Blue on Canadian soil, a wire-to-wire win in the Bison City Stakes at Fort Erie. On Saturday, the pair picked up where they had left off, duplicating their front-running triumph of 12 months ago, this time galloping to glory in the $164,550 Royal North Stakes at Woodbine.Prior to the Royal North, the Ontario-bred, who last raced at the Toronto oval in the 2001 Labatt Woodbine Oaks, had run seven-straight races south of the border, including four turf starts, most recently a narrow 3/4-length loss on July 5 at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. The decision to head north, says U.S.-based trainer Linda Rice, was indeed a fortuitous one."We were pointing toward the Eaton Park in Monmouth, but we hustled ourselves up to Canada and I'm glad we came," said Rice.Ramsammy, who earned his colony-tying best seventh stakes win (deadlocked with Patrick Husbands) of the campaign, roused the daughter of Cure The Blues to the front of the six-horse pack (Bold Engagement was scratched), just in front of multiple-stakes winner Mysterious Affair and the Gail Casselman-trained Leading Role.After an opening quarter-mile of :22.56, Ramsammy kept his filly in charge as the group geared up for a long run down the E.P Taylor Turf Course. After repelling all challengers, the consistent bay crossed the wire 1 ½- lengths in front, in a time of 1:09.53, over a turf course rated as "firm.""We had a good trip, the trip we wanted," said Ramsammy, who had 44 wins on the season as of August 2. "We knew it was going to be tough early, but we hustled her out and got on the lead. She ran a nice race."The 39-year-old rider felt Quick Blue wouldn't be denied on this day.
"It's pretty hot out there and she ran pretty hard. It's tough to go all the way like she did, but it was a very game effort." Mutuel favourite and fellow U.S. invader Automated finished fifth.Quick Blue paid $10.30, $4.40 and $3.20 across the board, combining with Mysterious Affair ($3.60, $2.60) for a $32.50 exactor. Marisa Go ($2.60) rallied for third. The 1-2-6 triactor paid $101.20.(Chart, Equibase)