Fairy Hill, cutting back in distance after weakening to finish fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks, launched a sustained rally while racing in between horses around the final turn and got up late to capture Friday’s seven-furlong Lady Angela Stakes by a neck.
The $100,000 Lady Angela, for Ontario-sired fillies, attracted a field of eight and was Fairy Hill’s first stakes victory.
“She was comfortable sitting where she was,” said jockey Jeffrey Alderson, who was riding his third career stakes winner and first at the meeting. “She let a couple of them go in front of her and she liked that. The game plan worked out there.”
Without A Doubt, breaking from post 7, had gone to the lead but was soon confronted by Zestina, who had rushed up after breaking from the 1-hole and led by two lengths through an opening quarter in :23.47.
The 17-1 Without A Doubt had moved up on the outside to lead by a head as the half-mile was reached in :46.36.
But Zestina reclaimed the lead as they straightened out for the stretch drive, and still led through six furlongs in 1:10.84 with She’s Got Money and Fairy Hill in hot pursuit.
She’s Got Fire, who had stalked the pace from the inside, finished well to nail down the place money, a length to the good of Zestina but Fairy Hill was finishing strongest of all to claim the top prize.
“She’s maturing and she’s running really good. Hopefully she can keep that up and have bigger things to look forward to,” said Alderson.
Gosudarina, who had launched a menacing move in midstretch, stalled slightly and wound up another two lengths back in fourth.
Rosemere, who had been backed down to 7-5 favoritism and was in striking range throughout while racing outside Fairy Hill came up empty and finished fifth.
Without A Doubt, Line of Vision and Bear Kitty rounded out the order of finish with the seven furlongs clocked in 1:23.22.
A daughter of Sligo Bay out of Koonunga Hill, Fairy Hill had been claimed for $25,000 here last November and wintered at Oaklawn Park with her new trainer Norm McKnight. Her earlier win at this meeting came in a $40,000 optional claiming race at 1 1/16 miles
The Lady Angela was the third stakes win of the meeting for leading owner Bruno Schickedanz and trainer McKnight.
“We really liked this spot for her,” said McKnight. “I preferred something a little shorter for her as opposed to a route.”
Live racing resumes Saturday at Woodbine with a 13-race card highlighted by the 159th running of The Queen’s Plate. First post time is 12PM ET.
The 3-1 second choice, Fairy Hill returned $8.60, $5.30 and $3.60. The 5-4 exactor with 17-1 She’s A Fire ($13.20, $6.60) came back at $103.70 and Zestina ($2.80) completed a $2 5-4-1 trifecta of $477.40. The $1 5-4-1-6 superfecta rounded out by Gosudarina was worth $1,164.95.