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2023 Royal North Stakes at Woodbine

horse racing
Our Flash Drive ad jockey Patrick Husbands head to the winner's circle after the 2023 Royal North Stakes at Woodbine.
Date: 6/03/2023

The first turf stakes of the 2023 Woodbine Thoroughbred meeting is the $175,000 Royal North Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on the E.P. Taylor turf course. Conditions were excellent for early June in Southern Ontario, with sunny skies and a race time temperature of 22C (72F), with the course rated firm. Our Flash Drive was sent off as the 11-10 favorite off wins in the Bessarabian (G2) in November and the Whimsical (G3) in May. In to challenge her included 4-1 second choice Adaay in Asia, making her North American debut off her 7th place finish in the JRA Sceptre Fillies Stakes (G3) at Doncaster after winning the British Stallion Stud Handicap at York, and 17-4 third choice Millie Girl, making her stakes debut off an allowance win last out.
horse racing
Out Flash Drive leads down the stretch in the Royal North Stakes.

Jockey Daisuke Fukumoto sent 34-1 Forest Drift to the lead through fractions of 22.92 and 45.24 while pressed by Our Flash Drive and stalked by 11-1 Sweet Enough. Turning for home, Forest Drift continued to lead through 3/4 in 1:07.69 but Our Flash Drive, confidently ridden by Patrick Husbands, came out 3 wide and rallied past to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:13.88. It was a neck back to late-running Millie Girl third.
horse racing

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
 5   Our Flash Drive    Husbands         4.30    2.90  2.30
 6   Sweet Enough       Wilson                   8.00  4.20
 4   Millie Girl        Carroll                        3.20

Winning Time:  1:13.88

$1 Exacta 5-6                16.15
$1 Trifecta 5-6-4            53.60
$1 Superfecta 5-6-4-11      852.60
Results Chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Our Flash Drive in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Patrick Husbands said, "When Johnny [Velazquez]'s horse [Bay Storm] scratched, I said, 'You know what? Get in the clear and keep your eyes on the horse on the lead.' And that horse on the lead, she was doing it so easy. Her ears were pricked, and she was doing it so easy. I said, 'I've got to go after this filly now.' [Our Flash Drive] is a class horse and when you go into these races, you have to ride them with confidence."

Right: Our Flash Drive gets hosed off after the race.

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Our Flash Drive walks over before the race. The Mark Casse trainee improved her record to 7 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 16 starts, earning $601,536 for owner-breeder Live Oak Plantation.

Right: Our Flash Drive in the post parade.

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Sweet Enough heads to the track before the race. The Roger Attfield trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 15 starts, earning $149,266 for owner Lordship Stud.

Right: Third place finisher Millie Girl returns after. The Catherine Day Phillips trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 6 starts, earning $161,753 for owners Kingfield Racing Stable, Braconcrest Inc., and Apricot Valley Thoroughbreds.


horse racing
Souper Hoity Toity wins the Belle Mahone Stakes (G3)

The $150,000 Belle Mahone Stakes (G3) featured a field of 7 older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta main track. 2022 Canadian Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Moira made her 4-year-old debut, sent off as the 3-10 favorite off her 6th place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Keeneland after being disqualified from second to eighth for interference in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1). In to challenge her included 11-2 second choice Souper Hoity Toity, seventh in the Sand Springs in April at Gulfstream after winning the Ontario Damsel in October and 17-2 third choice Purrfect, fifth in the Latonia Stakes after finishing third n the Wintergreen Stakes both at Turfway Park.

Jockey Patrick Husbands sent Souper Hoity Toity to the lead first time by through fractions of 25.26 and 50.75 while pressed by 19-2 Il Malocchio and stalked by Moira and 52-1 longest shot Saratoga Vision. On the far turn Il Malocchio poked her head in front briefly through 3/4 in 1:14.87 before tiring, allowing Souper Hoity Toity to regain the lead through 1 mile in 1:38.38. Moira, saving ground on the rail the whole way, got outside for room at the 5/16 pole under new rider Kazushi Kimura and gained late but Souper Hoity Toity held her off to win by a neck in 1:44.49. It was a long 3 lengths back to Purrfect third.

Results Chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Souper Hoity Toity in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Patrick Husbands said, "From looking at the Racing Form Mark [Casse] doesn't give me instructions, he depends on me there was no speed in the race. The only way I could beat [Moira] today, I've got to walk this race. If I walk this race, she can't get out. [Souper Hoity Toity] is all guts."

Right: Souper Hoity Toity gets a drink after the race.

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Souper Hoity Toity heads out to the track before the race. Husbands added, "When I rode her at Gulfstream, she should have won. I had nowhere to go. I was just waiting for any hole to open up. She ran a winning race."

Right: Souper Hoity Toity heads to the winner's circle.

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Moira returns after the race. The Kevin Attard trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 8 starts, earning $995,491 for owners X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables, and SF Racing.

Right: Third place finisher Purrfect in the post parade. The Mike Stidham trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 2 thirds in 9 starts, earning $145,772 for owner-breeder Godolphin.

horse racing
The horses break from the gate for the Belle Mahone Stakes. Heavy favorite Moira is on the far right coming out of post 1 under new jockey Kazushi Kimura next to eventual winner Souper Hoity Toity (number 3 but post 2). It is worth noting that Souper Hoity Toity was second in voting for Champion 3-Year-Old Filly but got her "revenge" here.

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