Sunday, August 31, 2008
Sugar Bay sweet in Ontario Colleen triumph
TORONTO, August 30*Augustin Stable's Sugar Bay, ridden for the first time by Jono Jones, rallied down the centre of the E.P. Taylor Turf Course to take the featured $182,800 Ontario Colleen Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine.
At the finish of the one-mile event for three-year-old fillies, Sugar Bay, an Ontario homebred product of Syncline-Otra Vez, proved a definitive four and one-quarter length winner over import Fareena, with the 9-5 favourite, Lickety Lemon, a further one and one-quarter lengths back in third. The final time over a 'good' turf was 1:34.44.
Meanwhile, Jones, who won this race in 2006 with Essential Edge, was content to bide his time in seventh with Sugar Bay, who was making her turf debut for Hall of Fame trainer Mac Benson, about five lengths off the leaders.
When the field straightened away for the long stretch drive, the inevitable cavalry charge unfolded. Bear Lahaina was overtaken by Verdana Bold, as the six panels was reached in 1:09.70, before the new leader was immediately swarmed by a host of others, including the eventual winner.
Sugar Bay, who was notching her second consecutive stakes win, having taken the seven furlong Duchess over Woodbine's Polytrack on August 9, assumed command near the eighth-pole and drew away confidently for the win, her fourth in 10 career outings.
"We sat in about sixth position," explained Jones. "She was relaxed perfectly. When I asked her to make her move, it was a matter of how much she was going to win by. The crowd started to roar and she started to look at them. But she was good enough to win."
Added Benson, "She's matured and she's settled down. Every time she comes over here (from the backstretch to race), she comes over more professional. She just looked around and said, 'This is a little new.' "
Sugar Bay has failed to pick up a cheque only once, that coming in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks on June 8, when she finished sixth, more than 15 lengths behind winner Ginger Brew.
With the winner's purse of $120,000, Sugar Bay upped her bankroll to $365,460. As the 6-1 third choice, she paid $14.30, $7.70 and $4.90, combining with Fareena ($9.10, $4.70) for a $140.40 (6-13) exactor. A 6-13-8 (Lickety Lemon, $2.80 to show) triactor returned $662.60.
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