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Miss Dracarys steps lively, turns back Moira in front-running Grade 2 Dance Smartly score

August 20, 2023

TORONTO, August 20, 2023 – Miss Dracarys, invading from Belmont for trainer Neil Drysdale, went straight to the front and led her six rivals a merry chase to score by one length under Javier Castellano in Sunday’s $200,00 Dance Smartly Stakes Presented by bet365 (G2T) on Sunday at Woodbine.

The Dance Smartly, a 1 1/16 mile-turf race for fillies and mares, was the first start for Miss Dracarys since she became a stakes winner over the distance and surface in the listed Forever Together at Belmont last November 20.

Miss Dracarys, breaking from the outside post, wasted no time in establishing herself as the one to catch as she showed the way through fractions of :24.07, 47.91, and 1:11.02 with the Chad Brown-trained Salimah in hot pursuit and Justify My Love (BRZ) in a good striking position along the rail.

Amping up the pace as Moira was looming large following a perfect outside stalking trip in fourth, Miss Dracarys had plenty in reserve as she blew past the mile marker in 1:33.87 en route to a final time of 1:39.60.

Miss Dracarys and jockey Javier Castellano winning the Dance Smartly Stakes on August 20, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)
Miss Dracarys and jockey Javier Castellano winning the Dance Smartly Stakes on August 20, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)

Moira had moved into serious contention around the final turn and had dead aim on the winner straightening out for home but was unable to reel in the loose-on-the-lead winner as the even-money choice.

Last year’s Canadian Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly after capturing the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser and the Queen’s (now King’s Plate) Plate last summer, Moira was suffering her third hard-luck defeat in as many starts this season.

Ready Lady rallied from the backfield to finish 3 ¼ lengths back in third with Justify My Love a nose back.

Ephrata; Salmah, who was the 2-1 second favourite and Whimsical Dance rounded out the order of finish.

Souper Hoity Toity and Il Malocchio were scratched.

Miss Dracarys, a daughter of Malibu Moon and Ask Me When, who was bred in Kentucky by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate, was recording her fifth career victory and first graded stakes win while making her 13th start in the Dance Smartly. She returned $10.70 as the third choice in the wagering.

Drysdale has enjoyed some major victories here in the past, registering Ricoh Woodbine Mile wins with Labeeb (1998), Touch of the Blues (2003), and Becrux (2006) and a Pattison Canadian International score with Marsh Side (2008).

Bill Tallon, for Woodbine Communications

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