TORONTO, October 21, 2022 – The Ontario Sire Heritage Series stepped into the spotlight Friday afternoon at Woodbine with My Girl Sky capturing the $100,500 Thunder Bay Stakes.
The 7-furlong turf event is part of an eight-leg stakes series open to Ontario Sired 3-year-olds, held at Woodbine and Fort Erie racetracks.
Ontario Racing and its Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP) Committee unveiled the series in 2021. With a total purse structure of $800,000 this year, the Heritage Series features a total of four races – three opening legs and one final – for both 3-year-old colts and 3-year-old fillies who are sustained to the Ontario Sires Stakes program.
Sent off at 7-1 in the Thunder Bay, for fillies, My Girl Sky was settled into fifth of nine in the early going, as Well Actually and Indian Music battled for the early lead with the former emerging on top, taking her rivals through an opening split of :23.82.
Well Actually continued to call the shots on the front end, with Indian Music a length back and My Girl Sky moving up to third along the inside after a half reached in :47.30.
As the field turned for home, Well Actually tried to slip away on her pursuers, but Bahen had My Girl Sky ready to roll, and the daughter of Dynamic Sky-Channel the Green soon began to cut into the lead.
A length behind at the stretch call, My Girl Sky took over the proceedings soon after and went on to post 1 ¾-length win over runner-up Souper Flashy. Well Actually held for third and Talk to Ya Later was fourth.
The final time over good going was 1:23.53.
“She really gives it her all in all her starts,” said trainer Katerina Vassilieva. “A few of the races, we were really expecting a little bit more out of her, but the race didn’t play out quite the way we wanted. Today, all the luck was on our side. I was actually a little bit concerned that the turf would be too soft. That was my concern. A part of me was hoping it would come off [the turf], but obviously it wasn’t a problem for the filly today. She handled it just fine.”
Bred by FrostFire Thoroughbreds, the grey is now 3-1-0 from 10 starts.
“This is our second stakes race we’ve won,” said owner Kevin Drew. “We won with Jilli Marie in the  South Ocean when she was a 2-year-old. It feels great. We had a great win in July, and I really thought she was going to take off from there. She looked like a world beater, and then we had a couple of bad luck races. That’s what happens.”
My Girl Sky paid $16.40 for the win.