Ready for Romance, expertly ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva, remained undefeated through three starts while making her stakes debut in Saturday’s $125,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Malcolm Pierce, the Sam-Son Farms homebred daughter of More Than Ready-Strange Romance arrived at the one-turn mile over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course from a pair of sprint scores on the Woodbine main.
Ready for Romance, leaving from the inside post in a field reduced to six horses following the scratch of Internal Bourbon, set splits of :23.60 and :47.05 with Dixie Twist stalking her early foot. Season Ticket, the 4-5 mutuel favourite, raced along the rail from the back of the pack under Patrick Husbands and advanced through the turn as the pack swarmed the rail-skimming pacesetter.
Husbands angled Season Ticket to the outside at the top of the lane and appeared primed to take the lead, but a game and determined Ready for Romance battled bravely to the wire to earn a head win. Green Doctor, returning on short rest from a sixth-place effort in last weekend’s Bison City Stakes, stayed on gamely for third. Ready for Romance covered the mile in 1:34.73 over a ‘firm’ turf.
Da Silva was very pleased with the effort of his dark bay filly.
“She’s a very nice horse. Malcolm told me to take it simple and ease her out as best I can,” said da Silva. “She was very relaxed. When we turned for home, I had some horse and when the other horse came (Season Ticket), she’s a nice horse too, but she (Ready for Romance) dug in hard and ran beautifully.”
The win marked the third stakes win at the meet for Sam-Son Farms having previously scored with Checkered Past in the Trillium and with Aldous Snow in the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes.
“It’s great when you have one that does everything you ask. We’re very excited about her,” said Michael Balaz on behalf of Sam-Son Farms. “It’s lovely when the fillies come out and race like this, especially with our breeding program.”
Ready for Romance banked $90,000 in victory while maintaining a perfect record through three career starts.
She paid $6.50, $3 and $2.50 combining with Season Ticket ($2.50, $2.10) for a $14.10 (1-3) exactor. A 1-3-4 triactor (Green Doctor, $4 to show) was worth $74.70. Easy Indygo was scratched.