River Maid scores by a neck in the Bessarabian

River Maid scores by a neck in the Bessarabian

Michael Burns

River Maid Scores in Bessarabian

Wins her first graded stakes by a neck.

The Very Dry Stable's River Maid notched her first graded win and gave her jockey Gary Boulanger a birthday victory as she scored in the Bessarabian Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine Nov. 19. 

Video: Bessarabian S. (G2)

The 4-year-old daughter of Where's The Ring sat mid-pack as 9-5 favorite and grade III winner Midnight Miley set fractions of :23.35 and :45.74 for the half mile with Southern Ring tracking a close second. The field crept closer to the leader on the turn for home, as River Maid, Southern Ring, and Minks Aprise all made their charge on the straight away. River Maid hit the wire first by a neck over Southern Ring, who secured second place by a nose. Minks Aprise was third, with Midnight Miley in fourth. 

"She's a hard trying mare," said Boulanger, who celebrated his 49th birthday. "She always shows up and gives you everything she has. A couple times this year, three-quarters might have been a little bit short for her but she always gave everything."

The final time was 1:21.85 for seven furlongs on the all weather track. Calling Rhy Rhy, Lilly's Goldie, and Top Decile rounded out the field. 

The Robert P. Tiller trainee paid $11.90, $5.10, and $3.50 across the board. 

"The difference is the distance. Six furlongs is too short for this filly," Tiller said. "We've been waiting for a seven-eighths stake and we got the perfect trip. She's game. She wants to win. We've been very careful with her aiming to this race and we really thought that seven-eighths was her distance."

This win brings River Maid's record to 7-3-2 from 14 starts, all at Woodbine, with $386,876 in earnings. The filly entered the Bessarabian off a third place run in the Ontario Fashion Stakes (Can-III) Oct. 16. She had her first stakes victory this June in the Ballade Stakes.

Bred in Ontario by Jay Cochlin, River Maid was purchased for $54,074 by The Very Dry Stable from Mapleville Farms during the 2013 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's Canadian-bred yearling sale.