TORONTO, September 17, 2023 – Lael Stable’s homebred Ready to Venture (GB) looked right at home in winning the $150,000 Seaway Stakes (G3) on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine.
It was a familiar result for the 5-year-old daughter of Kingman (GB)-Wonderstruck (IRE), who is now two-for-two at the Toronto oval after a stellar showing in the seven-furlong Tapeta race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up. Last May, Ready To Venture romped to a 5 ¾-length score in a 6 ½-furlong race over the Tapeta.
Hai Bobbi, supplemented to the Seaway, emerged with the lead and was shadowed by Vantarsi, 3-1 choice Ticker Tape Home, and Il Malocchio through an opening panel in :23.11. Rafael Hernandez, aboard the Michael Stidham-trained Ready To Venture, settled the bay mare into fifth along the rail.
A head in front through a half in :45.48, Hai Bobbi remained under pressure by Vantarsi, while Ready To Venture had moved into fourth position as the field of nine picked up the pace heading into the turn for home.
Hernandez had Ready To Venture rolling in early stretch and soon struck front, but was then tasked with fending off Millie Girl, who was coming with her best run along the rail. On top by a head at Robert Geller’s stretch call, Ready To Venture reached the wire a 1 ¼-length winner. Millie Girl was second, followed by Il Malocchio and Ticker Tape Home.
Vantarsi, Hazelbrook, Talk to Ya Later, Hai Bobbi, and Purrfect rounded out the order of finish.
The final time was 1:21.60.
It was another satisfying result for Lael Stable, who one day earlier watched as She Feels Pretty won the Grade 1 $500,000 Johnnie Walker Natalma Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and earned a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, to be run at Santa Anita on November 3.
One day later, the Lael silks were back in the winner’s circle at Woodbine.
"It’s not a great place to be,” said Hernandez, of having the rail post. “But when everything goes good, we ended up in the winner’s circle. It doesn’t matter how you start, it matters how you finish. At the three-eighths, I said, ‘Man, I have horse.’ I know my horse was running down the lane and I said whoever is coming is going to have to have run fast to get us.”
It was the sixth win, along with four seconds and three thirds, from 20 starts for Ready To Venture, whose first eight starts came in England, before starting the North American chapter of her career in March 2022 with a third at Fair Grounds. She broke her maiden in her second start, on September 16, 2020, at Great Yarmouth.
Ready To Venture paid $16.30 for the Seaway win.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms