TORONTO, October 1, 2023 – Forever Dixie, ridden by Patrick Husbands, won Sunday’s $125,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes Presented by Ketel One, for 3-year-old fillies, at 1 1/16 miles over the Woodbine Tapeta.
After early splits of :25.02 and :49.09 set by Sal’s Blue Jacket, Forever Dixie, at 2-1, continued to hug the rail around the turn for home, then burst to the lead early stretch en route to a 3 ¼-length score in a time of 1:42.96. Solo Album, also a Mark Casse trainee, finished second and Love to Shop was third. Sal’s Blue Jacket and Witch Hazel rounded out the order of finish.
“Today, I was going to get her in this race early and see how good she is because I know she’s a nice filly and she showed you today that that is my filly,” said Husbands, who teamed with Casse to win last year’s running with Souper Hoity Toity.
Bred and owned by John C. Oxley, the daughter of Quality Road-Dixie Strike made her first three starts in the U.S. before arriving at Woodbine last fall, where she promptly broke her maiden on October 1.
One year to the day after, Forever Dixie recorded her first stakes win.
“This filly’s a nice filly,” praised Husbands, who earned his sixth Ontario Damsel, the same as Casse. “Ask Mark. I tell him every time I ride her, every time I breeze her, this filly’s a nice filly. We got in an argument last time I rode her. I said, ‘Boss, she should’ve beat this horse’ and he said, ‘Well, it is what it is.’ But she showed she was the best filly today.”
Forever Dixie arrived at the Ontario Damsel off a second, a half-length back of the winner, in a 1 1/8-mile Tapeta race on August 20.
Now 3-2-1 from 10 starts, the Kentucky-bred paid $6.40 for the win.