TORONTO, ON – Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Merveilleux turned the tables on her rivals with a strong victory in Sunday’s $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes for Canadian-foaled 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine.
Merveilleux and jockey Rafael Hernandez settled into a mid-pack position while Justleaveitalone posted fractions of :24.99, :50.89, 1:16.60, and 1:14.16 through the opening mile.
Merveilleux tipped out three-wide nearing the top of the stretch and rushed to the lead just inside the 1/8 pole and held a 3-length advantage late to win the 1 1/4-mile firm outer turf event in 2:05.34.
The Kevin Attard trainee was the 5/1 second choice in the field of 10 Canadian-foaled 3-year-old fillies.
“I was impressed with the performance,” Hernandez said. “We had a clean trip today. Turning for home, I said, ‘Come on baby, keep it up, we have to do it!’”
Gun Society outkicked the 2/1 favorite Curlin’s Voyage for second by a length, while She’s a Dream finished fourth ahead of Justleaveitalone by a 1/2-length.
Behind them came Sansa’s Vow, Afleet Katherine, Forty Zip, Ballrooms of Mars, and Beyond Mybudget to complete the order of finish.
Merveilleux’s win was her first at the stakes level and improved her overall record to 10-3-3-1 with $305,909 earned. The daughter of Paynter previously finished third in the Woodbine Oaks and sixth in the Queen’s Plate Stakes against several rivals whom she defeated here.
“She’s been hard luck,” Attard said. “We’ve always liked her a lot. We thought heading into the Oaks we had the right kind of horse, and even heading into the Plate with her, we were really excited. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone her way. It’s been a tough season for the Ulwellings to boot, so it’s just kind of the way the cards stack up. Everything lined up our way today and she just had a good trip and ran to our expectations.”
Merveilleux returned $13.80 to win, $7.90 to place, and $4.60 to show. Gun Society brought back $13.30 to place and $6.60 to show, while Curlin’s Voyage paid $3.60 to show.