Woodbine invader Seek and Destroy was able to seize another Grade 3 victory as she took the $125,000 Ontario Colleen while jockey Luis Contreras completed a sweep of Saturday’s turf stakes at the Toronto oval.
The Grade 3 Ontario Colleen, a one-mile added-money event for three-year-old fillies, was the first stakes to be contested over Woodbine’s new inner turf course since the opening on June 28.
“It’s been very good to tell you the truth,” said Contreras of the new course. “The only thing, I haven’t been that lucky to win a race [on the inside turf], but finally I broke the ice.”
Picking up the mount on the popular Chad Brown-trained filly for her Woodbine debut, Contreras had Seek and Destroy between foes stalking the front-runners, 2-1 second choice Sister Peacock and longshot I’ll Take the Gold. The top two battled head-to-head through a quarter in :23.27 and half in :46.57 before Sister Peacock, pursuing her third straight local stakes win, shook off the early challenger past three-quarters in 1:10.28.
Seek and Destroy launched her attack coming off the turn and proved to be much the best with a strong closing kick, winning by three lengths in 1:35.65. Speedy Soul, fresh off her Bison City victory in the Triple Tiara series at the end of June, came on for second-place honours while Sister Peacock finished third.
“I know the Stuart Simon horse [Sister Peacock] was the one that was going to be on the lead for sure and when I saw the other one [I’ll Take the Gold] with Skye [Chernetz] going after him, I just decided to stay right there, just right behind the speed,” said Contreras. “I had so much horse all the way and she destroyed the field at the end.”
Bred by William B. Harrigan, the Verrazano-Search and Seizure filly is a half-sister to the multiple graded stakes winner Tammy the Torpedo, also trained by Brown. Seek and Destroy, a $425,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland Sale by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, is now four-for-seven lifetime including the Grade 3 Soaring Softly Stakes two starts ago at Belmont Park.
Seek and Destroy was the 8-5 favourite and returned $5.50 to win.