She’s the Berries didn’t have the greatest of starts, but the daughter of Badge of Silver finished with a flourish to take Saturday’s $100,000 La Prevoyante Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Mark Casse, the bay arrived at the 1 1/16-mile main track event for Ontario-sired sophomore fillies off a fourth-place finish at the same distance, same surface and same racetrack on September 19.
In the La Prevoyante, She’s the Berries, bred and owned by Brereton Jones, was away last after the gates opened, as her main rivals got the jump on her early.
But it would be a much different story by the end of the 8-1/2 furlongs.
It was outsider Red Rita who called the shots as the field entered the first turn, as Stormy Summer and Zestina kept close tabs on the pacesetter through an opening quarter-mile timed in :25.11.
Red Rita was still on top after a half-mile reached in :48.83, as Zestina claimed second spot, 1-1/2 lengths ahead of Stormy Summer. She’s the Berries, with Woodbine’s leading rider Eurico Rosa da Silva aboard, had improved one placing to eighth spot in the nine-horse field.
Fourth at the three-quarters pole, She’s the Berries was 1-1/2 lengths in command at Robert Geller’s stretch call, going on to win her first added-money event by a comfortable 2-1/4 lengths, in a final time of 1:44.08.
Bear Paw rallied to take runner-up honours, while Zestina held on gamely for third, a neck ahead of slight mutuel favourite Line of Vision.
The win was the third from 12 career races and second score in the last three starts for She’s the Berries, who finished fourth in last year’s Nandi Stakes and South Ocean Stakes, while also taking third in the 2017 edition of the Victorian Queen Stakes.
While the less-than-stellar start might have been a concern to those who backed her, da Silva believed She’s the Berries would be at her best when it counted the most.
And she was.
“She was a little rank inside the gate and when the gate opened, she didn’t break that fast,” said the Brazilian-born champion rider. “I’m glad that we had a pace to run at and was able to save some ground into the first turn. In the second turn, it was over.”
After an up-and-down campaign, one that’s yielded two wins and a second from seven starts, She’s the Berries was able to finally add a stakes triumph to her racing resumé.
“On the turn, she was running so easily,” offered da Silva.
She’s the Berries paid $8.80, $4.80 and $3.30, combining with Bear Paw ($7.60, $4.40) for a $70.10 (6-9) exactor. A 6-9-7 triactor (Zestina, $3.50 to show) was worth $374.10, while a $1 superfecta [6-9-7-5 (Line of Vision)] came back $546.45.
Live racing resumes tomorrow with first post at 1 p.m. Sunday’s feature is the Glorious Song Stakes.