TORONTO, May 1 – Crumlin Spirit, with Davy Moran aboard, tracked down odds-on favourite Caren in the final yards to win Sunday’s $125,000 Lady Angela Stakes at Woodbine.
Trained and co-owned by Mike Doyle, the bay daughter of Court Vision, who came into the seven-furlong event off a second-place effort in her seasonal bow on April 10, rallied three-wide as the field straightened for home, wearing down multiple stakes winner Caren to secure her first added-money crown.
In victory, Crumlin Spirit shrugged off a string of runner-up stakes performances last year – in the Shady Well, OLG Muskoka and Victorian Queen – to post her second career triumph, accompanied by five seconds, from nine starts.
Moran kept tabs on pacesetter Old Valyria, who was being stalked by 1-2 public choice Caren, through splits of :22.85 and :46.23. As the field straightened for home, Caren took charge, but a persistent Crumlin Spirit dug in for the drive and took charge late to win by a length in a final time of 1:22:53.
Trini Brewette edged Old Valyria for third.
Moran, aboard for all of the filly’s starts, saw the signs of a determined effort.
“She’s a beautiful filly,” said Moran. “We’ve been getting pretty excited about her over the last little while. From 2 to 3, she developed strongly physically and was only just getting going at the end (of the race) really. The plan was to sit back, stalk and chase down Caren. By the time we got to the turn, I had myself right by her. I thought for a stride or two, Caren was going to pick up, but my filly dug deep and opened up.”
Doyle, who watched his Bill Graham-bred May foal finish second to Old Valyria to launch her three-year-old campaign at five panels on the Woodbine Tapeta earlier in the month, was equally enthused by the energetic display shown by Crumlin Spirit.
“We ran her at the end of the year trying to break her maiden and she did,” Doyle said. “She found it hard to break it but she did well all year. She had a great winter at Windhaven Farm and has had a great spring. I ran her with older horses (on April 10, finishing second) because I wanted three weeks to the (Lady Angela) if she was good enough, and she ran great that day. She’s done well since.”
Bill Duffy, under Dura Racing, co-owns Crumlin Spirit, who bested the field of seven Ontario-sired three-year-old fillies. “She’s just a lovely filly.”
Crumlin Spirit served notice she’s a major contender for the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, slated for Sunday, June 12 at the Toronto oval.
She paid $14.80, $4.20, $2.90 combining with Caren ($2.40, $2.30) for a $32.70 exactor (6-4). Trini Brewette paid $4.50 to show and rounded out a $204.30 triactor.