TORONTO, August 15, 2020 – Theodora B. led from start to finish in the Dance Smartly (Grade 2) to kick off the Saturday stakes action at Woodbine.
The $175,000 Dance Smartly, a 1 ¼-mile race for fillies and mares, attracted a field of six who took to the E.P. Taylor Turf Course for the first of five added-money events on the card, including the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser.
Leaving from post two, Augustin Stable homebred Theodora B., sent off at 11-1, was immediately taken to the front by Justin Stein.
The pair led their five rivals, including slight mutuel favourite Etoile, through a pedestrian :26.89 opening split, holding a 1 ½-length advantage over Elizabeth Way, who was a half-length in front of Romantic Pursuit.
Still comfortably in front after a half-mile clip in :51.80, Theodora B. continued to call the shots as the six-pack geared up for the final turn for home, as Elizabeth Way attempted to track down the pacesetter.
Etoile, under leading rider Rafael Hernandez, found a wide seam along the rail and launched an inside bid as the field straightened for the long stretch drive to the wire.
At the finish, Theodora B. was three-parts of a length in front of Etoile, while Elizabeth Way was another 1 ¼-lengths back in third. Art of Almost, third in last year’s Dance Smartly, took fourth.
"I knew someone would have to really be running, another horse would have to really be running to get by her,” offered Stein. “She was giving me everything she had, and I had a lot of horse left in the tank. She showed her pump the whole way down the stretch."
The final time was 2:02.35 over “firm” going.
“We wanted to win, for sure,” said Stein. “Pretty confident in her; I galloped her yesterday and she's a real efficient mover, big long stride. We were covering a lot of ground but she wasn't doing much in the gallop, so I knew what I had today. I talked to the trainer on the way in and, unfortunately, our plans at the beginning of the race were mixed up. She wanted to leave and I had to go with it but she just kept running… a lot of power.”
A five-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper, Theodora B., trained by Michael Dickinson, secured her first stakes victory with the Dance Smartly score.
Prior to the victory, the Kentucky-bred finished sixth in the Trillium Stakes (Grade 3) on July 18 at Woodbine.
Theodora B. is now 5-5-3 from 17 starts.
She returned $24.10, $8 and $3.90 and keyed a 2-1 exacta with Etoile ($3.30, $2.40) worth $75.60. Elizabeth Way ($2.40) rounded out a 2-1-4 triactor that paid $215, while Art of Almost (5) completed a $1 superfecta worth $325.40.