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Owner William Thompson Jr. leads Ariana D to the winner's circle after the Bessarabian Stakes.
With just two weeks remaining in the Woodbine season, connections hoping to impress Sovereign Award voters try to take full advantage of the few stakes races remaining on the calendar. The $150,000 Bessarabian Stakes features older fillies and mares sprinting 7 furlongs on the Polytrack, and this year's renewal may decide the winner of the Female Sprinter award. After morning line third choice Impossible Time scratched, a field of 12 went to post at sunset on Sunday, with the field facing a stiff headwind of 20 miles per hour down the backstretch and a race-time temperature of 40 degrees. Sugar Again was sent off as the 2-1 choice, winner of 4 of her last 5 starts including the Ruling Angel Stakes at Woodbine on October 20. In to challenge her included 9-2 second choice Indian Apple Is, winner of the Sweet Briar Too and Ontario Fashion Stakes and second in the Seaway (G3), all at Woodbine, and 11-2 third choice Hooh Why, winner of the Seaway but second in the HBPA Stakes at Presque Isle and seventh in the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at Keeneland last out.
Ariana D rallies on the outside of Hooh Why and Sugar Again
Jockey Gerry Olguin sent 21-1 Waccamaw to the lead exiting the chute and she set quick fractions of 23.27 and 46.44 down the backstretch into the wind, with 64-1 longest shot Moonlit Beauty and Hooh Why stalking her 2nd and 3rd respectively. Jockey Luis Contreras kept favorite Sugar Again in 10th about 5 lengths off the pace. Entering the lane, Hooh Why came around the tiring Moonlit Beauty and opened up a 1 1/2 length lead at the 1/8 pole through 3/4 in 1:10.71. 19-1 Ariana D, from last, and favorite Sugar Again put in late rallies from the back of the field, but Ariana D outfinished Sugar Again to win by a head in 1:22.97. It was just a length back to Hooh Why third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 13 Ariana D Moreno 32.00 24.60 12.40 3 Sugar Again Contreras 5.10 4.10 5 Hooh Why Ramsammy 5.30 Winning Time: 1:25.00 $2 Exacta (13-3) paid 172.50 $2 Trifecta (13-3-5) paid 1,182.10 $1 Superfecta (13-3-5-4) paid 3,842.35Results Chart from DRF
Left: Owner William Thompson Jr. holds Ariana D in the winner's circle. Her jockey Omar Moreno said, "I thought I was going to be up at the front but when the gate opened she sat off of (the pace). She was very comfortable back there so I just let her be there. I didn't want to have to go so wide on the turn but my horse was really digging in there. I'm glad we got it done."
Right: The trophy presentation with trainer Laurie Silvera in the cowboy hat.
Left: Ariana D in the paddock before the race. The Laurie Silvera trained daughter of Rock Slide improved her record to 7 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 17 starts, earning $317,780 for owner-breeder William B. Thompson Jr.
Right: Ariana D in the post parade. This was the 3rd career stakes win for her jockey Omar Moreno who will lose his apprentice allowance at the end of the year. He said, "During my whole apprenticeship, everybody has been good to me, giving me great opportunities, I had fun doing it. The best time of my life and I hope I can continue it as a journeyman."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Sugar Again in the post parade. The 2-1 favorite raced in 10th early, 5 lengths off the pace under regular rider Luis Contreras, chased into the lane and just missed. The Mac Benson trained daughter of Syncline improved her record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 7 starts, earning $215,260 for owner-breeder George Strawbridge (Augustin Stable).
Right: Third place finisher Hooh Why in the post parade. The 11-2 third choice stalked the pace in 3rd under jockey Emile Ramsammy, opened a clear lead at the 3/16 pole but failed to hold off the first two. The Don MacRae trained daughter of Cloud Hopping improved her record to 6 wins, 6 seconds, and 7 thirds in 25 starts, earning $796,822 for owners Estate of Gail Gee, Mark Hoffman, and Earl Trostrud.
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