C.E.C. Farms’ Sparkles’ Girl, under a smart ride from Emma-Jayne Wilson, notched her second career stakes score with a gutsy performance in Sunday’s $125,400 Classy ‘n Smart Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by John Charalambous, the four-year-old Society’s Chairman bay arrived at the 1 1/16-mile Tapeta route for Ontario-sired fillies having finished second in three of her past four starts, including a runner-up effort to Sweater Weather in the Algoma Stakes on August 30.
On Sunday, she went one better.
It was a carbon copy – at least early on – of last year’s Classy ‘n Smart, as multiple Stakes winner Generous Touch set splits of :25.16 and :49.57 with Sparkles’ Girl keeping close tabs on the pacesetter. Mutuel favourite and defending champion Sweater Weather was last of nine, as Eurico Rosa Da Silva waited to make his move.
At the stretch call, Sparkles’ Girl was a head in front of Generous Touch, as both Trini Brewnette and Sweater Weather launched their respective bids, with Internal Bourbon digging in for the late challengers.
At the wire, Sparkles’ Girl bested Trini Brewnette by a head in a time of 1:44.42. Internal Bourbon bested Sweater Weather by the same margin for show honours.
Wilson, aboard for last year’s fifth-place effort in the Classy ‘n Smart, was thrilled with the gumption her charge showed down the lane.
“She gets a nice stalking trip, a little pace in front of her, she settles really nicely,” said the champion rider. “That’s what happened. ‘Bou’ (jockey, Gary Boulanger, aboard Generous Touch) set some nice, comfortable fractions and he’s pretty potent on the front end, so I didn’t want to let him get too far away from us.
“Sweater Weather, she got the jump on us last time (Algoma) and I didn’t want to get caught where she got the jump on us again,” continued Wilson. ”So I was just trying to bide my time and pull the trigger at the right moment so I could hold her off, but not go too soon. It worked out really well.”
Charalambous was pleased to see Sparkles’ Girl, who took the 2015 edition of the Ontario Lassie Stakes, record another added-money victory.
“She’s a pretty consistent filly and the last couple of races, we haven’t had the best racing luck. Today, it was a difficult race to kind of figure how it was going to set up, but it set up perfect.”
Sparkles’ Girl, bred in Ontario by Spring Farm, improved her record to 4-4-1 from 15 starts.
She paid $18, $9.90 and $5.80, combining with Trini Brewnette ($13.80, $7) for a $221 (5-9) exactor. A 5-9-6 triactor (Internal Bourbon, $5.30 to show) was worth $1,352.60, while a $1 Superfecta [5-9-6-7 (Sweater Weather)] came back $1,817.65.