Silent Star emerged victorious from a neck and neck stretch battle with race favourite Strut the Course in Wednesday’s $126,200 Victoriana Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by David Bell and perfectly ridden by Justin Stein, the dark bay daughter of Silent Name proved resilient under pressure to earn her first stakes score in the 1 1/16-mile turf stake for Ontario-sired fillies and mares three-years-old and upwards.
Hobnobsnob set splits of :23.49 and :46.85 with My Bid and a three-wide Moonlit Beauty tracking her early foot as Silent Star and Strut the Course raced side-by-side in seventh position.
Primorida surged up the rail between the pace setters as the field straightened away, while Silent Star and Strut the Course rallied down the middle of the lane. That trio stayed on gamely to the wire with Silent Star finding the wire first in a final running time of 1:42.90. Strut the Course finished second, a neck in front of Primordia.
Stein, earning his sixth stakes win of the year, was content to settle off the hot early pace.
“The horses to the inside went and commanded the pace and gave me an opportunity to tuck in behind them,” said Stein. “When she’s in behind horses, she really relaxes, gets covered up and just wants to gallop along until she’s asked to run.”
Bell was pleased with the effort of his filly who arrived at the Victoriana off a length win over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on July 18.
“It gave her a lot of confidence,” said Bell of that win. “She’s had a few issues over the past couple of years and now she’s maturing and doing things right. She ran a gritty race today. She earned it.”
Silent Star earned $75,000 in victory, improving her record 4-4-3 from 13 starts.
She paid $11.80, $5 and $3.70, combining with Strut the Course ($3.30,$2.50) for a $42.40 (11-6) exactor. An 11-6-10 (Primordia, $12) triactor was worth $1001.90, while a $1 Superfecta [11-6-10-4 (Bear’s Gem)] came back $2027.05]. Silent Treat and Cantbeatthestory were scratched.