July 12, 2012
Dene Court rules in Ontario Damsel
Melnyk Racing Stable Inc.'s Dene Court went gate-to-wire to take Saturday's $150,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes, at Woodbine.
It was the second turf stakes score for the City Zip-Operetta chestnut, trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Patrick Husbands, who entered the Ontario Damsel off a narrow victory in the six and a half-furlong Alywow Stakes.
Dene Court took command from a wide position down the backstretch setting swift splits of :23.11 and :46.23 in the one-mile tilt over the E.P Taylor Turf Course. Husbands, who had plenty of horse, edged Dene Court closer to the rail into the far turn and galloped home a geared-down length and a quarter winner. Part the Seas was up for place, four lengths in front of Gravelly Bay.
Husbands wasn't worried about travelling wide down the backstretch with the now three-time winning filly, who stopped the clock in 1:35.14.
"She's a very talented filly," said Husbands. "She's an aggressive filly and always wants to fight with the other horses, so I was a little bit scared of getting in a speed duel down the backside. I got her to relax and I didn't mind that she was so wide. She showed she was the class of the race today."
Husbands noted that Dene Court had steering issues in her Alywow score.
"She was a little bit lost (in the Alywow) and I couldn't get her steering going into the first turn," recalled Husbands. "She was a little bit lost first time on the turf, but she's a fighter...after the race I told Mark she wanted to go far. I didn't know how far, but she was okay."
Casse, who noted that a trip to Saratoga isn't out of the question for Dene Court, was quick to point out the success of the CTHS Yearling Sale.
"We bought two fillies out of the CTHS Sale, Dene Court and Dixie Strike," said Casse of the talented pair who have combined to win five added-money events. "Everybody needs to go to the CTHS Sale and give it a try. We have a lot of good horses and a lot of good Canadian-breds."
In victory, Dene Court banked $90,000 pushing her career earnings in excess of $260,000.
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