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Souper Sunday a Saturday star in Georgian Bay

July 8, 2023

TORONTO, July 8, 2023 – In the Georgian Bay, for 3-year-old fillies, 9-2 Souper Sunday powered home to record her third straight victory and first stakes triumph in a time of :57.24 over firm ground. The margin of victory was 2 ¼ lengths.

Trained by Steve Owens, who co-bred with Beverly Lewis and co-owns with Empress Stables, the dark bay filly was making her stakes debut and third start of the campaign.

After breaking on top, Souper Sunday yielded the lead to Cara Cara, who took her 10 rivals through an opening quarter in :21.86. Several riders were forced to check along the backstretch, but the frontrunners remained unaffected.

Souper Sunday, with Eswan Flores aboard, seized control, finding themselves a length on top at the stretch call, as a determined Cara Cara dug in gamely along the rail, while the duo of Flowers n’ Berries and Foolish Games had rallied into contention.

Souper Sunday and jockey Eswan Flores winning the Georgian Bay Stakes on July 8, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)
Souper Sunday and jockey Eswan Flores winning the Georgian Bay Stakes on July 8, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)

In the final yards, Souper Sunday pulled away to earn the win. Flowers ‘n Berries was a neck in front of Foolish Games for the runner-up spot. Cara Cara was a further neck back in fourth.

A long delay at the starting gate that saw one of her rivals hesitant to load didn’t affect Souper Sunday before the race got underway.

“She was standing pretty quiet in the gate,” said Flores. “I was very happy how she handled herself in there. Everything was playing great, even from the gate.”

Making her debut last June, Souper Sunday posted a pair of thirds in her first two starts, both sprints over the Woodbine Tapeta. After a ninth and sixth over the E.P. Taylor turf and the Tapeta, respectively, in August, she was third in a $15,000 claiming race at seven panels over the Tapeta in December, and then sent to the farm to regroup for her sophomore season.

It turned out to be a winning move by Owens, who has watched his filly go undefeated in three starts in 2023.

“Last year, she was growing, a 2-year-old with lots of aches and pains. Rushed her a little bit. In the end, we sent her to the farm. She came back in real good order.”

Saturday’s win was a special one for the multiple graded stakes-winning trainer.

“The Ontario sire program is what our family always looks for. We are Ontario breeders, and we try and support the industry the best we can.”

Souper Sunday, now 3-0-3 from eight starts, paid $11.70 for the win.

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms  

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