TORONTO, October 27, 2019 – Even-money favourite Dixie’s Gamble saved his best for last in the $100,000 Overskate Stakes, finding a seam along the rail and then dashing away for an authoritative win, Saturday afternoon at Woodbine.
It was the aptly-named Speedy Connor who took control of the seven-furlong main track race for Ontario-sired horses, three-year-olds and upward, leading his five rivals through soft opening splits of :24.76 and :48.97.
Luis Contreras, aboard Dixie’s Gamble, kept the four-year-old son of Gamble’s Exchange to the inside of the pacesetter, the duo patiently waiting to make their move.
As the field turned for home, Contreras and Dixie’s Gamble showed no signs of panic, as Speedy Connor soon found himself under siege.
In a matter of seconds, just before the stretch call, the Ivan Dalos-bred and owned colt seized control along the inside, and went on to record a 1 ½-length score in a time of 1:25.03.
“I was relaxed behind a slow pace,” said Contreras. “I just put him behind the horse on the lead, and when I saw the opening on the rail, I just went through and he gave me everything.”
Trained by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Josie Carroll, Dixie’s Gamble arrived at the Overskate off three straight stakes engagements, including a second-place effort to champion Pink Lloyd in the Shepperton on August 4.
Dixie’s Gamble, fifth in the Kenora Stakes in his start prior to Saturday’s performance, put in his strongest showing since a six-length romp over six panels on the Toronto oval Tapeta in June, in what was his second start of 2019.
The Overskate marks his first added-money victory, and sixth win overall, from 11 lifetime starts. He won his first three lifetime starts, including his career bow on June 9, 2018.
“His last race was a little bit of a disappointment,” offered Carroll. “Coming into this race, he was just so aggressive, and I had a lot of confidence in him today. I was a little worried when I saw that slow pace. I was saying, ‘Please move, Luis.’ Fortunately, it opened up on the rail.”
Dixie’s Gamble paid $4 for the win, combining with Magical Man for a $5.10 exactor. Speedy Connor finished third, but was placed fourth after interfering with Silent Jimmie, who was elevated to the show spot.