Moonlit Promise, the defending champion in the Sweet Briar Too Stakes, overcame a less than perfect trip to eke out a half-length victory at Woodbine in Saturday’s $100,000 renewal of the 6 ½ furlong overnight stakes for fillies and mares.
"I had so much good feelings about her when I was behind,” said jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva, who was winning his second race of the afternoon.
Malibu Bonnie went straight to the lead and made all the running in the Sweet Briar Too while clocked in fractions of :23.88, :46.88 and 1:10.31.
Racing in blinkers for the first time, Moonlit Promise broke awkwardly from post one but rushed up along the rail. In tight quarters on the final turn, the five-year-old Malibu Moon mare took back in third.
Regrouping turning for home, Moonlit Promise swung off the rail and wore down Malibu Bonnie to stop the clock in 1:16.32.
Moonlit Promise and jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva winning the $100,000 Sweet Briar Too Stakes on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Woodbine Racetrack, Michael Burns Photo
"She's had a lot of troubled trips this year and lost her focus a little,” said trainer Josie Carroll. “So we put a set of blinkers on her today and Eurico gave her an aggressive ride and got her back on her game.
"We needed to change something up a little bit and get this mare back focused because she's a very, very talented mare who hasn't really performed as well as we had expected this year."
Victory to Victory, racing outside throughout, showed some late life to get up for third money, 2 ½ lengths behind the runner-up.
Silent Sonnet, who had loomed a danger while rallying wide late on the final turn, flattened out to be fourth, another head back.
Just Be Kind, Answer My Call and Sister Nation rounded out the order of finish.
Code Warrior, the morning-line favourite for the Sweet Briar Too, also entered Monday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Presque Isle Masters and opted for that spot.
Moonlit Promise, bred in Kentucky by Hill ‘n’ Dale Holdings Ltd. and racing for that outfit and Windsor Boys Racing, was capturing her fifth career stakes race but her first win of any sort in her seventh start this season.
Sent postward as the 3-2 favourite, Moonlit Promise paid $5.10, $2.70 and $2.10. She combined with Malibu Bonnie ($3.80, $2.50) for a $2 exacta worth $14.50. Victory to Victory ($2.30) completed the trifecta, which paid $23.40 for a $1 ticket, and Silent Sonet rounded out the superfecta, worth $58.50 for a $1 ticket.