Owned and bred by Franck Stronach’s Stronach Stables, Ginger Brew was sent out as the overwhelming 3-5 favorite in a field of 12 Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack. The daughter of Milwaukee Brew stopped the clock in 1:51.40 under Javier Castellano. Victory Romance finished second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Authenicat, who led at the top of the stretch.
Trained by Brian Lynch, Ginger Brew won her third consecutive race and for the fourth time in six career starts. She entered the event off a 1 1/4-length score in the April 26 Calder Oaks. She will now point toward the June 29 Bison City Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Tiara.
Gloriously set the early pace in the Woodbine Oaks, breaking from post six and sprinting to the lead. The daughter of Indian Charlieclicked off a :23.99 quarter, :48 half-mile, and 1:12.69 three-quarters, doing it quite easily. Sugar Bay pressed the pace, while Authenicat was next, followed by Nicki Knew. Northern Kraze also entered into contention as they entered the turn, as did Victory Romance.
By the time they rounded the far turn, Authenicat assumed the front under Robert Landry, but Victory Romance and Ginger Brew, who was near the back through early stages after being bottled up near the rail, came with her bid. Ginger Brew then split her two rivals with ease, began drawing away and was taken in hand by Castellano before the wire.
After the race, Victory Romance jockey Emile Ramsammy claimed foul on Ginger Brew for interference near the top of the stretch, but the stewards disallowed it. It was the first Oaks win for both Castellano and Lynch.
She's a special filly," Castellano said. "You can do what you want with her. You can put her on any track, turf, dirt and Polytrack. She improved a lot today. I waited for the right time and right place. She kicked in very strong in the end."
Said Lynch: "She had a great race at Calder. In this organization, you're not under any stress to ever race a horse. This is the race we picked all year for her, being a Canadian-bred. After the Calder effort, we said we'd settle for the Oaks (without another race in between). The filly rose to the occasion."
The winner paid $3.20, $2.70, and $2.40. The exacta (2-9) with 21-1 Victory Romance returned $57.10. Authenicat, at 32-1, capped an $802 trifecta (2-9-12).
Ginger Brew is out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Coral Necklace. She has now earned $493,866.
In the $150,400 Victoria Park Stakes, it was Secret Getaway who ran down longtime leader Catch Air in the final strides to win by three-quarters of a length under Emma-Jayne Wilson.
A 3-year-old Skip Away colt, Secret Getaway earned his first stakes victory and second win in five lifetime starts for Sand and Cee Stables. He is trained by Michael Stidham. The final time for nine furlongs on Polytrack was 1:51.11.
Catch Air nearly went the entire way on the front end, posting fractions :24.59, :48.52, and 1:12.71 under Tyler Pizarro. He led by 3 1/2 lengths at the top of the lane, but began to tire in upper stretch. Secret Getaway collared the leader inside the sixteenth-pole to win going away at 7-1. Catch Air held second at odds of 11-1, 3 1/2 lengths in front of 13-1 Discreet Commander. The three longest shots on the board came in to net a $1,166.20 trifecta.