In her first start over Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course in more than eight months, Sweetest Thing picked up where she left off, by winning Saturday's $210,100 Dance Smartly Stakes.The Ontario-bred daughter of Candy Stripes caught local racing fans by surprise in 2001 with dominant wins in both the Breeders' Stakes and Wonder Where Stakes. From there, Sweetest Thing was taken to the United States where the 4-year-old finished in-the-money in six consecutive graded races, including a win in the the grade III Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland.After being sold to American owner Lael Stables, the filly was returned to Woodbine, where trainer Roger Attfield and jockey Jim McAleney were back together for another win Saturday.McAleney had Sweetest Thing reserved well off the pace for much of the 1 1/8 mile event. As she has done so many times before, the bay used her powerful late kick around the final turn to engage the front-runners. With Mountain Angel and Todd Kabel on the inside, Sweetest Thing fought gamely to the wire for a nose victory.With the win, Sweetest Thing boosted her career earnings to $857,094.The time for 1 1/8 miles over a course rated firm was 1:45.72, only two-fifths of a second from the E.P. Taylor Turf Course track record."My filly ran hard and dug in," said McAleney. "With all respect to Sam-Son's filly (Mountain Angel), she fought back on bravely on the inside and made it a real good horse race. Roger had this filly spot on today. The filly ran as we hoped, she was a sweet thing today."Attfield was understandably pleased with the win. "She's run really hard every race in her life," he said. "We took a chance and shortened her back in here. I just thought she was a good enough filly to do it. Unfortunately we sold the filly, but fortunately they've left her with me for the rest of the season. She's just a sweet filly."
Sweetest Thing returned $3.50, $2.30, $2.10 combining with Mountain Angel ($2.90, $2.40) for a $9.70 exacta. Rosthern returned $3.10 to show.(Chart, Equibase)