Race Recaps

Santa Monica Rallies Late to Win G2 Dance Smartly

Michael Burns Photo

TORONTO, ON – A late rally from the rear was enough to propel Santa Monica past stablemate Inflexibility to give trainer Chad Brown the exacta in Saturday’s Grade 2, $175,000 Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine.

Breaking at her own tempo from post 8 under Jose Ortiz, Santa Monica watched from the back while Starship Jubilee posted opening splits of :25.77 and :49.03 for the opening 1/2-mile. At this point, Inflexibility decided that she didn’t want to chase anymore and shot to the front through further splits of 1:12.46 and 1:35.95. Turning for home, Inflexibility attempted to distance herself from the field while Santa Monica split out six-wide and commenced a furious run. Clearing all but her stablemate by the 1/4-pole, Santa Monica caught and passed Inflexibility with 1/16 of a mile remaining and carried through to the wire to win by a 1/2-length in a final time of 1:59.51 for the 1 1/4-mile turf event.

“She was very nice today,” said Ortiz, who earned his first-ever Canadian win. “She put me into a great position, and when I guided her to the clear, she exploded.”

Though she set the current track record at this distance (1:58.88) last July in the $225,000 Wonder Where Stakes, Inflexibility wasn’t fast enough to win to save the victory. She did, however, outkick the 5-2 favorite Holy Helena by 3 1/4 lengths for second. Bletchley took fourth over Liberty Kitten, while Starship Jubilee faded to sixth. Mythical MissionSaba, and Dream Dancing completed the order of fishion. Flower Fashion was scratched.

Santa Monica’s win was her second in three attempts since the British-bred mare came stateside. Owners Deron Pearson (of D P Racing), Madaket Stables, and Mrs. John Magnier purchased the 5-year-old daughter of Mastercraftsman for $530,696 last December. Overall, her record stands at 25-4-2-2.

Santa Monica returned $9.30 to win, $4.90 to place, and $3.10 to show. Inflexibility brought back $4 to place and $2.80 to show, and the Brown trainees’ exacta paid $36.30 for a $2 bet. Holy Helena paid $2.60 to show.

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