TORONTO, ON – Ivan Dalos’ homebred mare Gamble’s Ghost might’ve given her connections a fright after spending much of the race in the rear, but in the end, a perfectly-timed ride from Eurico Da Silva allowed her to surge just in time to defend her title in Sunday’s $100,000 Belle Mahone Stakes at Woodbine.
Breaking from post 2 as the 4/5 favorite under Da Silva, Gamble’s Ghost dropped back and saved ground while My Arch Enemy shot along the rail to take command post fractions of :25.25, :49.94, and 1:14.31. Tipped out in the far turn as she made her move, Gamble’s Ghost ran as much as six-wide to pass slower foes and hit the top of the stretch full of run. Continuing to rally with great determination, the Josie Carroll trainee caught the all-out pace-setter in the final 1/16 and pushed forward to beat her by a head in a final time of 1:44.51 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the all-weather surface.
“Every time this filly comes for me to ride here, she’s in the best shape she can be,” Da Silva said. “It was very scary for me, especially on the first turn here when they slowed the pace so much. It was very, very slow, and I had no chance to take outside because I would be losing a lot of ground. From the first turn, I was trying to see where I could sneak inside and, you know what, there was no room there for me to go.”
Though unsuccessful at holding onto the win, My Arch Enemy was able to gamely stave off Mexican Hat by a neck for second. Much farther back came Superioritycomplex in fourth, while Daddy’s Great Bay necked out Babybluesbdancing for fifth. After rearing at the start, Giada Vegas was no threat and completed the order of finish.
Gamble’s Ghost’s win was her third straight following similar late-running scores here in the Grade 3 Trillium Stakes and the Grade 3 Ontario Matron Stakes. The 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper now carries a record of 20-10-3-1 with earnings of $776,251.
“That one was a nail-biter,” Carroll said. “You can move her all you want, but she’s going to move when she’s ready to move. She knows where she’s going and she gets it done.”
Gamble’s Ghost returned $3.70 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. My Arch Enemy brought back $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show, while Mexican Hat paid $4 to show.