Ghostly Presence out-sprinted a field of Ontario-bred fillies in the $125,000 Jammed Lovely to emerge a sophomore stakes winner on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
The entire field of six was in contention as the fillies spread across the track down the stretch in the seven furlong sprint, but it was favourite Ghostly Presence who prevailed ahead of Mythical Mission, the slight second choice, with an outside rally under the red-hot Rafael Hernandez.
Longshot Green Freedom broke well from post five sprinting out to the lead and set fractions of :25.30 and :48.85 with Crumlin Queen in behind and Greek Justice looming outside. The favourites tracked behind those fillies before Ghostly Presence rallied wide and kicked clear while Mythical Mission came through to her inside to place. Crumlin Queen edged out a from-last Dilly Dally Darby in a photo finish for show.
“We got the favourite horse inside of us and we made a good move on the backside,” said Hernandez, commenting on the winning trip. “I always trusted my horse because the last couple of works I’ve been working very, very good so she showed up today what she had been doing the last couple of works and we won.”
Ghostly Presence won by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:23.98 giving Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield his second consecutive victory in the Jammed Lovely Stakes and fifth overall.
She was sent postward as the 4-5 favourite following a pair of narrow losses in the La Lorgnette Stakes and Carotene Stakes, and returned $3.80, $2.20, and $2.10.
A winner of last year’s Princess Elizabeth Stakes, Chiefswood Stable’s homebred Ghostzapper-Five N Forty filly appeared to struggle early in her transition from two to three, but broke through for a victory in an allowance race on September 2 and flourished with late-season stakes success.
“In the middle of the winter, she got a skin disease really badly,” said Attfield. “I don’t know whether that had anything to do with it, I doubt it really, but she was never doing well. She didn’t look well, she was too light, her colour was bad, she wasn’t training very well, but she was healthy really. All the tests came back fine on her. We just had to be patient with her and she suddenly turned the corner and she’s been good from the middle of the summer on. I loved her going into this race today. Her last two races were great races, she just was very unlucky. But she’s a sweetheart, she really is.”
Ghostly Presence’s victory capped off a three-win day for Hernandez, who has now tripled on three consecutive programs at Woodbine this week.
“When you have good horses, it makes your job easy,” said Hernandez, with a nod to the trainers and owners of his mounts.