Sam-Son Farm’s homebred Southern Ring continued to improve for trainer Malcolm Pierce, taking Sunday’s Grade 3 Ontario Fashion Stakes by three-quarters of a length over defending title holder Cactus Kris. The 4-year-old daughter of Speightstown covered six furlongs over Woodbine’s Tapeta in 1:08.65 under the expert reinsmanship of Eurico Rosa da Silva.
Green Doctor jumped out of the gate on top of the six-horse field, leading Veaisha by a half-length through a first quarter in :22.14. Those two sped away from Southern Ring by nearly three lengths down the backstretch, with Cactus Kris bringing up the rear of the field. Veaisha drew even alongside Green Doctor in the turn, with those two recording a half-mile fraction of :44.47. Southern Ring was moving well while staying in the three-path around the turn, and Cactus Kris was just beginning to get involved.
At the head of the lane, Veaisha had the lead, but Southern Ring was bearing down on her intently, and by mid-stretch would put her neck in front. Both Cactus Kris and River Maid were making strong late bids down the center of the racetrack, but da Silva had timed his rally perfectly aboard Southern Ring. Stretching toward the wire, Southern Ring put away her challengers, recording a winning margin of three-quarters of a length. Cactus Kris had to settle for second, with River Maid crossing the wire in third. Veaisha was fourth.
Bred in Ontario by her owners, Southern Ring is out of a daughter of Seeking the Gold. The filly broke her maiden in her second start during her sophomore season, and followed that up with a listed stakes win at Woodbine. This year, she has been raced sparingly, winning an allowance in May and finishing fourth in a listed stake in July. The Ontario Fashion is the first graded stakes win of her career, and boosts her record to four wins from six starts, with earnings of nearly $ 250,000.
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