TORONTO, August 29, 2020 – With a determined stretch run, Chart prevailed in a photo finish to take the $125,000 Ontario Colleen Stakes (Grade 3) for three-year-old fillies on a windy Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.
One of four Mark Casse trainees in the field of six, Chart got the first call breaking sharply from the gate for jockey Justin Stein and settled into second behind the Casse-trained Grade 3 Selene champion Two Sixty, who sped out front and clocked an opening quarter in :23.55 and half-mile in :46.93.
Heading into the turn in the one-mile turf test, Chart advanced outside of the pacesetter with the Alex Patykewich-trained Saratoga Vision moving three-wide and Diamond Sparkles, another Casse contender, poised to go widest of all past three-quarters in 1:10.38.
Down the stretch into a headwind, Chart battled on gamely against Two Sixty with even-money favourite Avie’s Samurai, from the Josie Carroll barn, emerging at the rail.
Digging in, the determined Chart prevailed in a blanket finish, getting the nod in 1:35.24 over Avie’s Samurai. Diamond Sparkles finished another head back on the outside in third, with Two Sixty a half-length back between foes. Saratoga Vision finished less than a length behind in fifth while Fly So Pretty rounded out the field.
“She broke sharp and I didn’t have to ask her to leave there,” said Stein, who is now just a couple wins behind meet-leading rider Rafael Hernandez. “She settled into stride right away and just galloped around there until it was really time to start running.
“I got to sit and wait for a while. I was pretty comfy sitting up to the quarter pole and when I asked her to run, she really kicked. I just could feel the try that she had inside. She was digging in and giving me everything that she had. Running into that headwind, I don’t know how she did it, but she found more to get the job done.”
The lightly raced Kentucky-bred filly sired by Lea has now won half of her six career starts for owner D. J. Stable LLC.
Sent postward as the 9-2 second choice, Chart returned $11.20 to win.
Morning line favourite Walk In Marrakesh was scratched.
In other action, Theregoesjojo ($7.80) and Kazushi Kimura won the $50,000 second leg of the Woodbine Turf Endurance Series for trainer Michael De Paulo and the Samotowka Stables.
Stretching out to 1-1/2 miles, the five-year-old English Channel gelding stalked the top pair before sweeping to command on the final turn and winning by two lengths in 2:29.78 over the late-rallying Peace of Ekati.
Theregoesjojo was a runner-up in the 1-3/8-mile first leg to Artistico, who finished third in round two as the 6-5 favourite.
The series, which offers $40,000 in bonuses to the top point-earners, continues on Saturday, Sept. 26 with the third round at 1-5/8-miles.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine on Sunday, featuring the $770,000 Canadian Yearling Sales Stakes. Post time for the 11-race card is 1 p.m.