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Artful Ballerina Recovers For Impressive Score In Georgian Bay
Credit: Michael Burns Photo

Artful Ballerina Recovers For Impressive Score In Georgian Bay

TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Sire Heritage Series launched Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack with Artful Ballerina capturing the $80,000 Georgian Bay Stakes. 

The 5-furlong inner turf event is part of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series, a new 8-leg stakes series open to Ontario-sired 3-year-olds, to be contested at Woodbine and Fort Erie racetracks.  

Ontario Racing and its Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP) Committee unveiled the series in March. With a total purse structure of $750,000, the Heritage Series will feature 4 races – 3 opening legs and 1 final – for both 3-year-old colts and 3-year-old fillies that are sustained to the Ontario Sires Stakes program. 

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The Georgian Bay Stakes for fillies saw Artful Ballerina noticeably check up and lose ground on the field before recovering and impressively charging up a wide-open rail for jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson. The William Sorokolit and Vandyk Sunny Stables homebred is trained by Darwin Banach.  

“She just lost her hind end a touch,” said Wilson post-race. “I thought somebody maybe clipped her heels, maybe she just cross-fired a little. Young horses, still learning, this inner turf is unique and challenging on any given day, and going 5/8 first time on it and we were tight to the rail, maybe she just didn’t quite take the turn… she just lost all momentum. 

“When she got her legs under her, I snapped her on the shoulder and just picked her back up into my hands and she was there. She’s run on every time she’s run, but when she re-rallied and quickened, it was like we were shot out of a cannon.” 

The early battle in the 5-furlong sprint saw Benny’s Button and Humble Beginnings duel through a :22.02 1/4-mile before the pair led the group of six into the lane. Artful Ballerina was fifth at the head of the lane before rocketing by rivals to win by 2 lengths.

Meet The Soprano rallied for second, while Sunsprite was third and Benny’s Button dropped back to finish fourth. The final time was :56.96. 

A daughter of Town Prize, Artful Ballerina had finished second in each of her first 2 career starts prior to Saturday’s maiden-breaking score. A $2 win ticket returned $14.30. 

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