Horses for courses was the story of the G2 Bessarabian at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday. Local favorite Our Flash Drive signed for her fourth win at the track with a romping success. The highlight of the undercard, the G3 Maple Leaf, produced a slight upset. That happen when Il Malocchio snapped a long losing streak with her first success at the Graded level. Check our 2022 Bessarabian Stakes & Maple Leaf Recap.
2022 Bessarabian Stakes
Flash Drive has the answers. G2, $175,000, 7f all-weather, 3yo+ females
Woodbine certainly brings out the best in Our Flash Drive. The horse posted the biggest win of her career when strolling away with the feature Bessarabian. The race happened at the Toronto circuit on Saturday.
The four-year-old has never been off the board in six starts here. This was her fourth victory, bouncing back from a couple of defeats to justify her position as an 8-5 favorite. Our Flash Drive was ridden chilly by Patrick Husbands, stalking the pace set by longshots Lorena. Then Sweet Enough, but she came running around the turn and easily made the lead in mid-stretch before clearing right away to win by five and a half lengths, stopping the clock in 1:20 and three-fifths.
Hazelbrook was always on the scene. However, the competitor had no response to the winner’s powerful challenge in the stretch. Nonetheless, she gamely held off Loyalty to take the place slot by a head. Second-choice Artie’s Princess – winner of this race in 2020 – made a show in sixth.
Our Flash Drive has been a very consistent performer for trainer Mark Casse in 2022, with only a fifth place in the G2 Ballston Spa at Saratoga breaking her sequence of finishing in the first three. She had two G3 scores to her name before the Bessarabian, and there may well be more to come if the daughter of Ghostzapper stays in training next year.
Bessarabian Stakes Race Video
Maple Leaf Stakes
Malocchio so cool collects. G3, $150,000, 1m 2f all-weather, 3yo+ females
It was probably one of the weakest Graded stakes in the calendar, but that won’t matter to the connections of Il Malocchio, who made her breakthrough at this level when causing a mild upset in Maple Leaf.
She had drawn a blank in 2022, bringing an eight-race losing streak to the table, but the 9-1 shot picked the right day to run the race of her life under Sahin Civaci. The favorite Transient cut out the fractions and was still traveling easily at the top of the lane, but she soon began to flounder and Il Malocchio ran her down inside the final sixteenth to win by a length, with Angelou also rallying past Transient to hit the wire a half-length ahead of the front-runner. The time was 2:02 and one-half.
“She’s enjoying the cooler weather,” said trainer Martin Drexler, offering a novel reason for his filly’s improved form. “Some days she struggles with the heat, but she got the perfect set-up here and she enjoyed that.”
Il Malocchio has never won anywhere other than Woodbine and also has a couple of wins in restricted stakes on her resume, although she was zero-for-three at Graded level before today’s heroics.
2022 Maple Leaf Stakes Race Video
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