TORONTO, ON – Splitting horses at the top of the stretch and holding off a pair of late pushers was the key to La Feve‘s success when she took home Saturday’s $100,000 Duchess Stakes at Woodbine.
Breaking from post 7 under Rafael Hernandez at 6/1 odds, La Feve soon settled into midpack while Charmaine’s Mia blitzed from the outside gate to set the early pace. After chasing through opening fractions of :23.55 and :46.21, La Feve made a two-wide bid in the far turn to draw within 2 lengths of the leader.
Straightening for home in good order, La Feve split between Charmaine’s Mia and Winandyourin Gin before sticking her nose in front shortly after. Holding off a strong push from Intanga Rose down the middle of the lane and a late rally from Wings of Dawn along the rail, La Feve crossed with a 3/4-length advantage. The Graham Motion trainee completed the 7-furlong sprint over the fast synthetic surface in a final time of 1:23.59.
“She broke good,” Hernandez said. “She broke good out of the gate and put herself in good position. We didn’t have too much traffic in the race. She gave me a good kick down the lane. Everything worked out perfect.”
Intanga Rose held onto second by a neck over the fast-finishing Wings of Dawn. Sav usurped a weakening Winandyourin Gin for fourth, while Si Si Tequila and Painting followed in sixth and seventh, respectively. Charmaine’s Mia faded to eighth ahead of Fat N Bitter and Ciuri, who completed the order of finish. Double Medal was a stewards scratch.
La Feve’s win was her first since shipping from Europe to join the Motion barn for co-owners Madaket Stables, Robert LaPenta, Lindy Farms, and Team Hanley. The French-bred 3-year-old daughter of George Vancouver improved her worldwide record to 11-2-1-4 with $119,707 earned.
“We were very happy with her,” said Joy Cooper, travelling assistant to Motion. “Usually, the instructions are just, ‘Let them break and put them where they’re comfortable.’ If I can’t get hold of him (Graham) for some reason, I usually give them the same (instructions).”
La Feve returned $15.30 to win, $7 to place, and $4.60 to show. Intanga Rose brought back $5.20 to place and $3.80 to show, while Wings of Dawn paid $3.20 to show.