TORONTO, June 26, 2022 – Artie’s Princess, under Patrick Husbands, made it look easy in taking the $101,600 Ballade Stakes, Sunday at Woodbine.
Sent off as the 3-5 choice in the six-furlong race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares, four-years-old and up, Artie’s Princess was hustled to the rail by Husbands, as multiple stakes winner Lorena was settled into second, with Spanish Ballerina and Red Equinox positioned third and fourth, respectively, through an opening quarter timed in :22.10.
Husbands and Artie’s Princess were a half-length in front of Lorena through a half in :44.49, with the pacesetter looking every bit in charge of her 11 rivals as she rounded the turn for home.
At the head of the lane, the daughter of We Miss Artie-Stormkeeper, still under no urging from Husbands, began to kick away from her pursuers, holding a two-length at advantage at Robert Geller’s stretch call, going on to cross the wire an authoritative three-length winner in a time of 1:09.35.
Lorena finished second, 4 ¼-lengths ahead of 58-1 Trading Bay, with 72-1 Souper Pecan a head back in fourth.
“She showed on form that she’s a class horse,” said Husbands. “I just let her enjoy herself.”
Bred and owned by Ken Ramsey and the Estate of Sarah Ramsey, Artie’s Princess arrived at the Ballade off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes on May 8, her first start in 11 months.
The five-year-old bay mare, trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr., was back in the winner’s circle for the first time since a victory in the 2020 Grade 2 Bessarabian at Woodbine.
Husbands was thrilled to deliver Joseph, a fellow Bajan, with his first Woodbine stakes win.
“It’s an honour and a pleasure, especially following you from the islands, trying to make it outside and do make it outside. It’s a good feeling. He asked me to rider he last time and I couldn’t ride her, and it’s an honour that he offered me back the ride. I feel good.”
With the win, Artie’s Princess is now 6-1-0 from 10 starts. She won the first two starts of her career and notched her first stakes triumph in the 2020 Ruling Angel Stakes.
She paid $3.50, $2.70 and $2.60, combining with Lorena ($6.30, $5.70) for a $17.90 exactor. Trading Bay ($13.60) completed a $358.10 triactor, while Souper Pecan rounded out a $1 superfecta that returned $1,492.10. Mrs. Del was scratched.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues Thursday at Woodbine with a first post of 5:05 p.m.