In the last start of her two-year-old campaign, OK Feisty lowered her lifetime mark to 1:54 in the $50,000 Autumn Stakes final on Thursday night at Woodbine.
Driver Scott Zeron and the pacing lass were on the move from sixth as Prettyndangerous (Anthony MacDonald) clocked the :27 opening panel.When a pocket-sitting Marlee B (Sylvain Filion) was tipped to the outside in the backstretch, OK Feisty was then pushed three-wide, where she posted the half in :56. As soon as the 6-5 favorite cleared, OK Feisty took command.
The 2-1 second choice marched past the three-quarters in 1:25 before opening up by 3 1/2 lengths to score the lion's share of the purse over Marlee B. Machnbyrd Princess (Randy Waples) stayed for third.
"I almost got locked in the first turn and had to squeak out of there then I decided instead of sitting out parked the whole mile with one of the horses that I thought was the best, I would take a chance and press to the front,” said Zeron. "That worked out great. I was able to have the horse that was parked on the outside of me be the first-up horse. I was able to use him as some cover and when I pulled away down the stretch my filly was all there.”
The daughter of Modern Art-Camaronni N Cheese has a lifetime record of 2-1-5 from 14 starts and career earnings of $49,320 for trainer David Menary, who shares ownership of the brown filly with Kenneth Ewen, Denis Breton and Oak Knoll Stables.
This division of the Autumn is for Ontario-sired freshman filly pacers, who are non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as October 31.
Ok Feisty paid $6.80 to win.
Also on the 11-race program, a pair of $25,000 Autumn Stakes eliminations were contested by 14 Ontario-sired sophomore trotting fillies, who are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31. Noble Lover pulled off a 10-1 upset in the first tilt for Team Christoforou.
The Charalambos Christoforou pupil got away fourth behind longshot Kalectra (Keith Oliver), who front-stepped her way around the Toronto oval. The tempo-setter put up splits of :29.2, 1:00.1 and 1:29.2 before driver Chris Christoforou and Noble Lover vaulted off second-over cover in the stretch, which was provided by a first-up Sturdy As A Hall (Doug McNair).
Noble Lover trotted on by her foes in the lane to score the half-length triumph in 2:00.2. Kalectra and Sturdy As A Hall faded to second and third, respectively. Also advancing are fourth-place finisher and post-time favorite Kendra Hanover (Rick Zeron) and fifth-place finisher Ivana Hanover (Steve Byron).
"She raced real well tonight,” said Chris. "It was an improved performance off her last start. Hopefully she can improve again a little bit before next week and she should be okay. She is a nice filly. She is good gaited and she tries every week. She has a few minor issues, but if we stay on top of her, she should be alright.”
The homebred daughter of Kadabra-Lovin It, who was unraced as a rookie, picked up her second win in 18 career outings and increased her bankroll to $43,390 for Charalambos, who shares ownership of the bay with Banjo Farms.
Noble Lover returned $22.50 to win.
Wark Woman captured the second elimination in gate-to-wire fashion for trainer Rob Fellows and driver Randy Waples. The 4-5 favorite put up fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26.4 en route to the one and three-quarter length victory in 1:57.1.
Real Housewife (Sylvain Filion) rallied for second and Magic Lindy (James MacDonald) faded to third. Also advancing are Betty Oop (Jody Jamieson) and Out Of The Hat (Scott Zeron), who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
"Rob (trainer Fellows) liked her right away,” said Pat Hunt, who owns a piece of the bay with breeder Glengate Farms. "I think we all like her. She trained down this year like she was going to be a real good filly then she ran into some problems. We sort of got her straightened around. She has been getting good.”
The daughter of Ken Warkentin-Womanlee, who was winless as a freshman, picked up her fourth win in 13 career outings and increased her bankroll to $84,380.
Wark Woman paid $3.80 to win.
The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $60,000 final set for Thursday, December 6. Elimination winners earned the privilege to select their post positions for the final.
FIELD FOR THE AUTUMN FINAL
2. Sturdy As A Hall
3. Noble Lover
4. Wark Woman
5. Kendra Hanover
6. Betty Oop
7. Ivana Hanover
8. Real Housewife
9. Magic Lindy
10. Out Of The Hat
AE1. Now Shes Gone