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TORONTO, ON – Defending champion Souper Escape just held off Crystal Glacier at the wire to win the $150,000 Trillium Stakes (G3) on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
It was a 1-2 finish for Sovereign Award-winning owner Live Oak Plantation, which also bred the winner.
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Jockey Luis Contreras was aboard Souper Escape for her front-running journey in the 1 1/16-mile main track feature for fillies and mares 4 years old and up.
Trained by Michael Trombetta, Canada’s reigning Champion Older Main Track Female was sharp leaving the gate and quickly established the lead into the first turn. She clocked fractions of :24.24 to the 1/4, :48.42 to the 1/2-mile mark, and 1:11.54 to 3/4 while turning back the stalking Red Cabernet.
Souper Escape continued to lead the way into the stretch, with Skygaze looming outside of Merveilleux. However, Crystal Glacier, who followed the leader throughout, proved to be the biggest threat with a late lunge down the lane to make it into the win photo under Kazushi Kimura.
“It was close, but I thought I had a pretty good chance to win the race,” said Contreras after getting the nod in the photo finish. The winning time was 1:43.12.
“By the way my filly was acting in the post parade, I knew she was going to be sharp. So I knew she was going to be on the lead no matter what. I was just trying to make her relax to have some horse at the end.”
The 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro-Cry and Catch Me mare, who won the Trillium and 7-furlong Seaway Stakes (G3) in back-to-back fashion last summer at Woodbine, improved her lifetime record to 7-2-3 from 20 starts.
Souper Escape paid $9.20, $4.40, and $3.80 across the board for winning her season’s debut. She combined with the favored Crystal Glacier ($3.70, $2.80) for a 2-1 exacta that returned $30.10 for a $2 ticket. Skygaze ($4) finished 2 1/4 lengths behind in third.
Mark Casse trainees finished second through fourth, with Heavenly Curlin closing from the backfield to complete the superfecta. Merveilleux was fifth, with Royal Wedding, Brassy, and Red Cabernet completing the order.
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