Fev Rover turned back a stiff challenge from Crystal Cliffs to prevail by the shortest of noses under a determined ride by Patrick Husbands in a thrilling renewal of Sunday’s Grade 2 Canadian Stakes here at Woodbine.
The Canadian, an about 1 1/8-mile race over the E.P. Taylor turf course, offered a purse of $200,400 and attracted a field of eight fillies and mares.
Trainer Mark Casse, who saw Fev Rover join his string here early this summer and watched her finish second in the July 24 Dance Smartly, said his initial reaction was that his charge had prevailed despite the too-close-to-call finish.
“Yeah, Raffy (Rafael Hernandez, aboard Crystal Cliffs), did his arm thing like he won and I said to my daughter, Camille ‘I think we won because they ran to the to the mirror, and I thought our filly had her head down because she got a gutsy run by her coming back, and great ride always by Patrick’”.
Fev Rover, sent away as the 9-2 third choice, moved up inside to stalk the pace of front-running outsider Angelou through an opening quarter in :24.50.
Angelou had opened up by two lengths as a half-mile of :49.28 was posted but Fev Rover had switched to the outside to engage the leader and was a head in front with the six furlongs going in 1:12.71
Fev Rover’s task was just beginning, however, as Crystal Cliffs and Flirting Bridge were rallying in unison with a quarter-mile to run. Crystal Cliffs, going the better of the two, actually had poked a head in front with a furlong remaining but Fev Rover battled back for the very game tally.
The final time over firm going was 1.47.33 as Casse completed a sweep of the day’s graded stakes events after sending out Filo Di Arianna to capture the Grade 2 King Edward one race earlier.
Flirting Bridge, a strong second choice at 2-1, finished well to be third, ¾ lengths of a hard-luck of the runner-up1 ½ lengths behind the winner.
Bellagamba, who trailed much of the way, was along for fourth money, four lengths behind the show finisher, with Barkin, Munnyfor Ro, Keyflower and Angelou completing the order of finish.
Fev Rover, an Irish-bred 4-year-old Grade 2 winner in France, was making her second North American appearance for owners Team Valor International and Gary Barber.
The Canadian is the second leg of the Ladies of the Lawn series, which began with the Dance Smartly and winds up with the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes here October 8. A $50,000 bonus is on tap for the owner of the top points-getter.
Fev Rover picked up seven points and leads the series with 17 points. Wawanake earned 10 points for her win in the Dance Smartly and did not enter the Canadian.
Bill Tallon, For Woodbine Communications
A pair of hat tricks were completed in the $200,000 G2 King Edward with Filo Di Arianna (BRZ) leading gate to wire to win his third straight start, and Kazushi Kimura picking up his third victory of the Queen’s Plate card.
Filo Di Arianna (BRZ) broke well from post two in the one-mile race over the E.P. Taylor turf course and was sent to the early lead. At the quarter mile marker, he led by half a length over 2021 Rich Woodbine Mile winner Town Cruise.
Duelling on the lead, the pair paced the field of six through three-quarters of a mile in 1:10.12 before Kimura asked for more from the son of Drosselmeyer.
The Mark Casse trainee responded by putting away Town Cruise and extending his lead to two lengths over Haddassah, who moved up from third entering the stretch as Town Cruise faded.
Under steady handling through the lane Filo Di Arianna (BRZ) proved much the best, winning by more than two lengths in 1:34.69 over a late closing Harlan Estate.
The six-year-old now boasts a lifetime record of 7-0-0 from nine starts. It was his second straight graded stakes score, on the heels of winning the G2 Connaught Cup on July 23 at Woodbine. He paid $4.40 for the win.
Antonio Gallardo navigated Harlan Estate through a ground saving trip from the rail position but could not match Filo Di Arianna (BRZ). The Kevin Attard trainee equaled the best stakes finish of his career, a runner-up in the 2021 Prince of Wales.
Haddassah, with Gary Boulanger in the irons, held on to finish third. The Al and Bill Ulwelling homebred now has a record of 3-0-5 from 10 career starts.
A $2 exacta paid $11.80, and a $0.20 trifecta paid $6.79.
Austin Stanton, For Woodbine Communications