Ivan Dalos’ homebred filly Avie’s Mineshaft wore down the favoured Woodbine Oaks champion, Dixie Moon, in the $225,000 Wonder Where Stakes, third leg of the Triple Tiara for Canadian-foaled three-year-old fillies, on Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack.
Jockey Gary Boulanger completed a sweep of the Sunday stakes after guiding Decorated Soldier to an upset victory in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup earlier on the program.
Making her turf debut in the 1-1/4-mile Canadian classic, the Josie Carroll-trained Avie’s Mineshaft trailed the field of five through the first three-quarters in 1:14.95 before Boulanger made his move.
“I had a relatively easy trip; she broke good and I was just saving ground waiting,” said Boulanger.
While he was waiting, Dixie Moon raced in between front-runners Double Latte and Glamanation, but took back and charged outside to take the lead in the final turn when Avie’s Mineshaft launched her attack.
“I wanted to move at him [Eurico Rosa Da Silva aboard Dixie Moon] and make him use his horse for at least a half-mile out because I figured my filly had that kind of kick where she could hold it a long ways and test ‘Dixie’ a little bit,” explained Boulanger. “When I got to him, he went on and sprinted away from me for a little bit, but he didn’t keep going. It looked like he kind of leveled off and my filly just kept grinding and coming and wore her down.”
The favourite had a three-length advantage through the stretch before Avie’s Mineshaft stole the spotlight in the final 1/16th, rallying by to win in 2:03.67 by 1-1/4 lengths.
Avie’s Mineshaft was the 5-1 second choice and paid $12.20 to win after just missing in the Bison City middle leg won by Safe to Say, who finished back in third today. Double Latte and Glamanation were fourth and fifth, respectively.
“She’s taken a long time to mature,” said Carroll. “At two, she was still figuring things out and this year it seems that she has improved every race as she went.”
Avie’s Mineshaft now sports a record reading 2-3-1 in eight starts and nearly doubled her bankroll, which climbed over $275,000. Her prior starts, all on Woodbine’s Tapeta surface, have included a close second-place finish in last year’s Princess Elizabeth Stakes, a third-place finish in the Fury Stakes and a pair of Grade 3 fourth-place finishes in the Mazarine and Selene.
“We actually put her up on the turf and worked her,” noted Carroll. “She’s only worked over it once, but she just skipped over it that day and Gary came off with this huge smile on his face when we worked her on it and I said, ‘You know what? I think we’re going to definitely be ok.’ The grandam [Fly for Avie] actually won the E.P. Taylor on this surface and her pedigree said she’d be fine.”
Bred in Ontario by Dalos’ Tall Oaks Farm, Avie’s Mineshaft is by Mineshaft out of Avie’s Empire. It was a good day for Dalos as he watched the filly’s half-brother Avie’s Flatter make a successful career debut at Woodbine in the second race.
Avie’s Mineshaft and Dixie Moon combined for a 2-4 exacta worth $21.80. The 2-4-1 trifecta paid $21.95 and the superfecta of 2-4-1-3 returned $77.80 for $1 tickets.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine on Wednesday evening (August 15). First race post time is 6:45 p.m.