TORONTO, July 14 – Yvonne Schwabe’s Surtsey, sent to post as the longest shot on the board, scored an upset win in Sunday’s $150,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes, at Woodbine.
Surtsey, a chestnut daughter of Heatseeker, was an impressive winner of the Fanfreluche Stakes in her final juvenile start, but was largely overlooked by the bettors in the one-mile turf stake for three-year-old fillies bred in Ontario.
Trained by Kevin Attard, and with Jermaine Bridmohan piloting for the first time, Surtsey scored a memorable upset stopping the clock in a swift 1:33.60. The victory completed a memorable week for Schwabe, the breeder of last weekend’s Queen’s Plate champion Midnight Aria.
Akron Moon led the field through sharp splits of :23.25 and :45.93 over the E.P Taylor Turf Course with Dance Again and Surtsey tracking her early foot. Adventure At Sea edged closer through the turn emerging with a narrow lead but Surtsey, angled well off the rail, found another gear and burst to the lead, to win by 2 ¼-lengths. Adventure at Sea held on for place over Dance Again.
Bridgmohan was pleased with his initial voyage aboard Surtsey
"I think we make a pretty good team," grinned Bridgmohan. "She broke real sharp and I just wanted to give her a good experience. It was her first time on the turf, and going this long, and I just wanted her to relax and finish up, and boy did she ever."
Despite having only one sophomore start under her belt, Attard was confident the filly was on her game coming into the Ontario Damsel.
"Heatseeker’s are running really well on the turf. We had an opportunity to work her on the turf last week and she worked really well," said Attard. "She’s a little bit of a lazy horse, but she handled the turf really well, her stride was nice, and she came into the race in good order."
Surtsey banked $90,000 in victory, while improving her record to 3-0-1 from eight career starts.
She returned $84.10, $23.30 and $7.70, pairing with Adventure At Sea ($10.40, $4.70) for a $643.70 (3-6) exactor. A 3-6-7 (Dance Again, $2.90 to show) triactor was worth $2,153.10. Bold Birdie completed a $1 Superfecta (3-6-7-4) worth $3,476.70.