TORONTO, August 17, 2019 – Godolphin’s homebred filly Fair Maiden took off in the stretch to win the $100,000 Catch a Glimpse Stakes with authority in her Woodbine debut over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on Saturday.
Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson was aboard the Street Boss-Shieldmaiden filly, who shipped in from Arlington Park off a flashy 14-1/4 length maiden-breaking score on July 21 for trainer Eoin Harty.
“She is all class,” gushed Wilson after the local prep for the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series event, on Sunday, Sept. 15. “To have a juvenile come from Arlington, another racetrack, and take it all in as professional as she did today is always impressive.”
The favoured My Dear Stakes champion Fast Scene set out to improve her record to three-for-three in the 6-1/2 furlong sprint, taking command from the quick-leaving Fair Maiden and clocking a quarter in :22.27 and half-mile in :45.51 with a clear lead.
However, Fair Maiden began to reel in the 6-5 bettors’ choice heading into the turn and had her collared at the top of the stretch before kicking away by 7-1/2 lengths in 1:15.64 over yielding turf.
She paid $8.20 to win as the 3-1 co-second choice with Western Taffy, who followed in second while Saratoga Vision came on to take third prize ahead of Fast Scene. Muskoka Dancer, The Good Witch and Take Charge Eh completed the order of finish.
Fair Maiden, who was a runner-up in her June 23 career debut, is now two-for-three to start her career with $84,000 in purse earnings.
“She’s always shown a lot precosity from day one,” said Harty. “She’s always shown she was a little bit better than the rest of them, but you never know until you actually run them.
“I think she’s something special. She was very impressive breaking her maiden against the boys and I felt confident today that I would have very much a fighting chance. I was hoping actually [the race] would come off the turf with all the rain, I had a few misgivings going into the gate as most trainers do, but she won with authority and beat a good field.”
Harty said the Natalma Stakes, a one-mile turf test for juvenile fillies, is certainly under consideration for her next start.
“Certainly, I’ll give all these races a look depending on how she comes out of this race,” he said. “She’s kind of going through a growth spurt right now and she’s got a bit more leg than she does belly, but I’ll go easy on her after this and if she’s doing well for the Natalma, she’ll be back.”
The matching Soaring Free Stakes for juvenile colts, a prep for next month’s Grade 1 Summer Stakes, is co-featured on Sunday’s racing program along with the $100,000 Flaming Page Stakes. First race post time is set for 1:05 p.m.