TORONTO, August 3, 2019 – La Feve, owned by Madaket Stables, Robert LaPenta, Lindy Farms and Team Hanley, made her Canadian debut a winning in one, as the three-year-old took top honours in the $105,800 Duchess Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.
With current meet-leading reinsman Rafael Hernandez in the irons, La Feve, trained by Graham Motion, broke well and sat comfortably just off the pace set by Charmaine’s Mia, who took the 10-horse field (Double Medal was scratched) throughout the seven-furlong main track event, setting fractions of :23.55 and :46.21 before being confronted by her rivals into the turn for home.
Hernandez and La Feve darted between Charmaine’s Mia and Winandyourin Gin to assume command in early stretch, but were quickly engaged by Intanga Rose to the outside.
At the wire, La Feve turned back a game Intanga Rose by three-quarters of a length to take all the spoils. A late-charging Wings of Dawn got up for third, while Sav was fourth.
The final time for seven furlongs was 1:23.59.
It was the first win on the campaign for the French-bred daughter of George Vancouver, who came into the Duchess off a fourth in the Open Mind Stakes at Monmouth on June 30.
“She broke good,” said Hernandez, aboard the filly for the first time. “She broke good out of the gate and put herself in good position. We didn’t have too much traffic in the race. She gave me a good kick down the lane. Everything worked out perfect.”
It was the fifth start of the year for La Feve, whose first six races were contested in France, prior to her North American debut, a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream on February 3.
Bred by Bernard Leclere and Mme. Raymonde Leclere, the filly now boasts two wins, one second and four fourth-place efforts from 11 career starts. Her first victory came at Mont-de-marsan on July 19.
“We were very happy with her,” said Joy Cooper, travelling assistant to Motion. “Usually, the instructions are just, ‘Let them break and put them where they’re comfortable.’ If I can’t get hold of him (Graham) for some reason, I usually give them the same (instructions).”
La Feve returned $15.30, $7 and $4.60 and topped a 7-1 exactor with Intanga Rose ($5.20, $3.80) worth $70.70. The 7-1-8 triactor with Wings of Dawn ($3.20) paid $148.90 and the 7-1-8-10 Superfecta ending with Sav was worth $1,179.95 for $1.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues at Woodbine this long weekend on both Sunday and Monday. First race post time is 1:05 p.m. Popular Canadian champion Pink Lloyd, a perfect three-for-three in 2019, goes for another Shepperton Stakes title when he goes postward in Sunday’s $100,000 added-money feature at Woodbine.