TORONTO, ON – Augustin Stable’s Pamina made a sweeping four-wide move in the far turn and had just enough left to hold off Katie Baby at the wire to win Saturday’s $125,000 Ontario Matron Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.
Breaking from post 10 under Luis Contreras at 6/1 odds, Pamina was unable to clear every foe inside of her and was forced to race four-wide into the clubhouse turn. Sense of Bravery led through the initial stages, posting fractions of :24.35 and :48.08.
Sent four-wide after the leader through the far turn, Pamina soon found herself on the lead and began kicking away at the top of the stretch. The 2/1 favorite Katie Baby made a valiant charge along the rail, but the Michael Dickinson-trained Pamina dug in and fought back. The two raced nearly step for step in the deep stretch, but in the end, Pamina prevailed by a head in a final time of 1:42.42 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast synthetic main track.
“I had the perfect trip, I was outside most of the time and just looking,” Contreras said. “This is a big, long-striding filly and I didn’t want any trouble for her and I got a perfect trip, so I was happy. I just kept an eye on Eurico (Rosa Da Silva, aboard Katie Baby) and the horse to beat. I talked to Mike and he told me, ‘If we send her before Eurico sends his horse, we’d have a big chance to win the race,’ and everything worked out perfect.”
Giovanna Blues rallied from last to take third by a length over Miss Mo Mentum, with Niigon’s Bay another length back in fifth. Lunar Garden finished sixth, while Crumlin Queen, Dixie Moon, Ladies Night, Summer Luck, and an empty Sense of Bravery completed the order of finish.
Pamina’s win was her second in as many 2019 starts after returning successfully from six-month freshening on June 6 in a Delaware Park allowance event. The 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry, who had been unsuccessful in three graded stakes attempts last year, improved her record to 10-4-3-0 with $189,091 earned.
“We love racing at Woodbine; this is one of the best racetracks in the world,” said Dickinson, who also invented the Tapeta synthetic surface present at Woodbine. “You’ve got two fantastic turf courses; the Tapeta track’s not too bad, either. It’s very friendly here, we love coming here. You’ve got a lot of good horsemen, a lot of good trainers, and you’ve got some fantastic jockeys, you’ve got a very deep jockey pool. A very overall high standard.”
Pamina returned $15.20 to win, $6.80 to place, and $5.20 to show. Katie Baby brought back $3.80 to place and $3.20 to show, while Giovanna Blues paid $8.60 to show.