TORONTO, ON – Mahamoud Pootoolal’s Way to Versailles rallied furiously in the stretch to nose out victory over Smiling Causeway in Sunday’s Grade 2, $175,000 Royal North Stakes at Woodbine.
Breaking well from post 6 under Eurico Da Silva, Way to Versailles took back and settled in the second half of the field while early leader Kasuga set initial splits of :22.42 and :44.59. Tipped out to run five-wide after exiting the far turn, Way to Versailles was put to a drive and responded with gusto, charging hard and passing the temporary new leader Smiling Causeway in the shadow of the wire. The final time for the 6-furlong turf sprint was 1:08.00.
“Last time, she showed a lot of speed and I took back,” Da Silva said. “Today, she showed speed if I wanted to be a little closer to the race. She’s there for you. She’s a wonderful filly and runs very focused.”
The 6-5 favorite Lull couldn’t keep up with the top duo in the stretch and had to settle for third, just heading Jennifer Lynnette at the line. Corps de Ballet took fifth ahead of a three-way photo finish for sixth. A weakening Kasuga took top honors there, nosing out Tulsa Queen and Victory to Victory, while Code Warrior and Will She completed the order of finish.
Way to Versailles’ win was her second straight following a triumph over allowance company here on July 8 and improved her overall record to 10-4-2-1. The 4-year-old daughter of Tizway has now earned $197,666 while under the care of trainer Kevin Attard.
“Eurico rides her well,” Attard said. “We got her to relax this year and she’s been a little more versatile than she normally is. It seems to be working fine.”
Way to Versailles returned $21.20 to win, $9.30 to place, and $4.40 to show. Smiling Causeway brought back $4.50 to place and $2.70 to show, while Lull paid $2.30 to show.