TORONTO, October 6 - Spring Venture, trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Patrick Husbands, stayed unbeaten while prevailing under a hand ride, Saturday at Woodbine, in the featured $201,000, Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes.

Sent postward the prohibitive 2-5 choice in a field of six two-year-old fillies over the mile and one-sixteenth Polytrack event, Spring Venture collared the pacesetter Shenandoah Lady turning for home, then, under some light tapping from Husbands, pulled away to a one and one-half length score in 1:46.74.

Seaneen Girl rallied for second, a head in front of Every Way, with Shenandoah Lady fading to fourth.

The win not only kept Spring Venture’s record perfect at three for three, including a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ event, the turf Natalma Stakes three weeks ago, but it also capped two special days for Casse and Husbands, who teamed to win the Darley Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland on Friday with Spring in the Air, to earn that filly a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

“Everybody’s looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup,” said Husbands. “I tried to give her (Spring Venture) an easy, easy race. She was so relaxed but at the half-mile pole, I squeezed her a little bit and she eased off. At the top of the lane, I got busy and she just got rolling again.

“It’s a great feeling to sit on these good horses. All you can do is smile. Both of them are two good fillies. I’m only the pilot. Two nice fillies. I’ll leave it to Mark Casse to say who is the better one.”

Spring Venture had entered the Mazarine off a maiden romp on the grass on August 18 and a similar victory in the Grade 2 Natalma, September 15, when decisioning her stablemate Spring in the Air by one and three-quarter lengths.

Now, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Spring At Last-Zahwah, co-owned by her breeder Stoneway Farm, along with Gary Barber, will set her sights on the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, set for Friday, November 2, where she’ll certainly be one of the favourites, if not the post-time choice.

With the $120,000 first place pot, Spring Venture pushed her burgeoning bankroll to $303,540. She paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10, combining with 19-1 shot Seaneen Girl ($7.80, $3.90) for a $26.80 (8-2) exactor. An 8-2-7 (Every Way, $2.90 to show) triactor was worth $75.70, while a $1 superfecta [8-2-7-5 (Shenandoah Lady)] returned $64.30.


My Oh My: Lateegra, Slade rock to Carotene score

TORONTO, October 6 – Lateegra, at 9-1, under jockey Slade Callaghan, rallied stoutly down the long E.P. Taylor Turf Course stretch to take all the spoils for three-year-old fillies in Saturday's $150,000 Carotene Stakes at Woodbine.

The 1 1/8-mile grass race gave the Mike Doyle trainee her first stakes triumph. She was second, at 52-1, to Awesome Fire in the Wonder Where Stakes in July and seventh, at 41-1, to Irish Mission, in the Breeders’ Stakes in August.

Callaghan guided the bay daughter of North Light to a neck nod over hard-charging Part the Seas. Black Bird Rock was third.

Lateegra sat fifth through fractions of :23.71 and :47.10 set by Future Surprise. In mid-stretch, Callaghan had Lateegra in full flight on the outside. Part the Seas loomed menacingly to the inside, but could not catch her rival.

The final time over a ‘firm’ E.P. Taylor Turf Course was 1:48.80.

“She broke out and relaxed pretty nice behind the speed,” said Callaghan. “I was quite content to be where we were. In the end, I just wore them down and she was the best horse today. She relaxed the best out of every time I've ridden her so far.”

It was the second win from 11 starts for Lateegra.

She paid $21.60, $7.70 and $4.80, combining with Part The Seas ($4.90, $3.10) for a $119.90 exactor. Black Bird Rock ($2.90) completed a $458.10 triactor. A $1 superfecta returned $901.05.