July 30, 2012

Roxy Gap Captures Royal North

Ontario-Bred Roxy Gap put in a determined effort to hold off favoured Atlantic Hurricane in Sunday's Grade 3 $187,000 Royal North Stakes, at Woodbine.

The Eugene Melnyk homebred, trained by Mark Casse and expertly ridden by Patrick Husbands, surged to the lead through the turn and dug in bravely down the lane to win her second graded event of the season.

Anywhere led the field through a smart opening quarter in :23.34 with Dance to the Moon hot on her heels.  Roxy Gap, who left from the outside post in the six-horse field, advanced three-wide through the turn and repelled the challenge of Atlantic Hurricane, ridden by Emile Ramsammy, for a half-length score.  Jenny's So Great rallied for show.  Roxy Gap stopped the clock in 1:09.18.

Roxy Gap, who captured the Grade 2 Hendrie Stakes on the 'Poly' on May 19, showed remarkable versatility with her effort in the six-furlong turf tilt

Husbands, who won both the Vandal (Uncaptured) and Duchess Stakes (Spirited Miss) for Casse on Saturday's card at Woodbine, admitted he had his eyes on Atlantic Hurricane throughout the event.

"I didn't want Emile to get the first run on me swinging for home," smiled Husbands. "From the time I left the gate and got my filly set up, I had to keep my eyes on them. She battled the whole way down the lane."

Roxy Gap banked $120,000 improving her record to seven wins, three seconds and two thirds in 13 starts.

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