TORONTO, June 9, 2018—Road to Victory, sent off as the 6-5 choice, shifted sharply off the rail in early stretch and closed strongly to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths in Saturday’s $100,000 Alywow Stakes at Woodbine.
Remaining undefeated in her third career start, Road to Victory was guided confidently by jockey Gary Boulanger in the 6 1/2 furlong turf race for three-year-old fillies.
“I was never concerned,” said Boulanger, who rode Road to Victory for trainer Mark Casse. “She’s obviously nice and this is the shortest she’s ever run, but I had worked her twice here since she’s come back and she’s acting better this year than she did last year.”
“When I called her, she just surged underneath me and it was just like ‘okay, let’s go do this.'”
Casse, winning his third race of the afternoon as well, was recording his fourth victory from 15 runnings of the Alywow.
Closer Still and Sly Beauty, also representing Team Casse, raced 1-2 for the first quarter-mile, which went in :22.60.
Magic Spell, inside, and Africa, three-wide, loomed in closest attendance while Road to Victory was dropping back on the inside with Boulanger sitting chilly.
Closer Still and Sly Beauty remained a length apart through a half in :44.51 and Sly Beauty had moved to the front by a head as the six furlongs went in 1:07.46.
Originator, a Kentucky shipper who was the third choice at 5-1, split horses to lead briefly in deep stretch before Road to Victory came calling and prevailed in 1:13.88.
Magic Spell, racing on the rail early, also finished between horses to nail down the show money, two lengths behind the runner-up at odds of 15.80-1.
Africa, who had loomed a threat turning for home, flattened out to finish fourth, beaten a total of six and a half lengths.
Sly Beauty and Closer Still weakened to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, while rank outsider Madame X. trailed throughout.
Road to Victory, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Quality Road, is three-for-three with wins in a seven-furlong maiden turf race with Boulanger aboard in her debut here last October and in the Grade 2, 1 1/16 mile Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Monomoy Girl, the runner-up there, was suffering what remains the only defeat of her career and ran her record to seven-for-eight with an impressive tally in Saturday’s Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont.
Owned in partnership by powerhouse Casse clients Gary Barber and John Oxley, Road to Victory was a $500,000 yearling purchase at the Ocala two-year-olds in training sale.
Road to Victory paid $4.40, $3 and $2.20. She combined with Originator ($4.80, $3.60) for a 1-2 exacta worth $19.70. A $1 trifecta of 1-2-3 (Magic Spell, $7.10) paid $106.90 and a $1 superfecta of 1-2-3-7 (Africa) returned $268.25.