TORONTO, ON – Dixie Moon dug in and won by a nose in Saturday’s $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser at Woodbine. This was the first win of 2018 for the three-year-old daughter of Curlin and her third career stakes victory.
The Woodbine Oaks is considered the top race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, much like the Kentucky Oaks, and is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara Series, which is akin to the American Triple Crown.
From the start, there was trouble for the 1-5 favorite Wonder Gadot as she broke poorly and got stuck behind horses. Instead, it was Fairy Hill who claimed the early lead and set the slow fractions of :25.16, :50.27, and :1:38.00. Fairy Hill was followed closely by Dixie Moon with Queen’s Fate and Hot Cash close behind. Into the backstretch, Wonder Gadot moved up to get back some of the ground that she lost in at the start and settled in three-wide behind Dixie Moon. As they entered the second turn, Fairy Hill retained her lead, however, both Dixie Moon and Wonder Gadot had pushed forward to take on the lead by the top of the stretch. As the battled toward the finish, Wonder Gadot and Dixie Moon fought side by side but it was Dixie Moon that dug in to win by a nose. Hot Cash finished third followed by Fairy Hill and Queens Fate.
“My plan was trying to relax her as much as I could and she was running very, very relaxed,” said jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva. “I had a great trip, I was sitting in a great position and the pace was not that fast. I pushed her a little bit early because I know she was going to have a good finish.”
She had a nice, clean trip and she just gave it her all,” said trainer Day Phillips. “Her biggest strength is in her heart. She’s just a lovely filly.”
Dixie Moon returned $8.60 to win and $2.10 to place, while Wonder Gadot paid $2.10 to place. There was no show betting.