TORONTO, ON – Augustin Stable homebred Theodora B. led from start to finish to finally score at the stakes level in Saturday’s $175,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.
Breaking from post 2 under Justin Stein at 11/1 odds, Theodora B. shot straight to the front and crossed over to set the pace heading into the clubhouse turn.
Straightening out with Elizabeth Way giving closest watch, Theodora B. walked through slow opening fractions of :26.89, :51.80, 1:16.24, and 1:39.48 for the opening mile.
Straightening for home running a lane off the rail, Theodora B. left an opening for the 7/5 favorite Etoile, but it mattered not. The slow early pace allowed Theodora B. to save enough energy for the stretch run and hold on to win by 3/4 of a length.
The Michael Dickinson trainee completed the 1 1/4-mile route over the firm outer turf course in a final time of 2:02.35.
“I knew someone would have to really be running, another horse would have to really be running to get by her,” Stein said. “She was giving me everything she had and I had a lot of horse left in the tank. She showed her pump the whole way down the stretch.”
Despite her failed bid in the stretch, Etoile was 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Elizabeth Way. Art of Almost, Bold Script, and Romantic Pursuit completed the order of finish.
Theodora B.’s win was her second of the year following an optional claiming score at Laurel Park in June and improved her overall record to 17-5-5-3. The 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare has now earned $341,011.
“We wanted to win, for sure,” Stein said. “Pretty confident in her. I galloped her yesterday and she’s a real efficient mover; big, long stride. We were covering a lot of ground, but she wasn’t doing much in the gallop, so I knew what I had today. I talked to the trainer on the way in and, unfortunately, our plans at the beginning of the race were mixed up. She wanted to leave and I had to go with it, but she just kept running.”
Theodora B. returned $24.10 to win, $8 to place, and $3.90 to show. Etoile brought back $3.30 to place and $2.40 to show, while Elizabeth Way paid $2.40 to show.