In a thrilling dash to the finish line, favoured Shake It Twice and her jockey Cory Spataro won the $56,300 Ontario Sires Stakes Derby at Ajax Downs on Sunday by a head over her own stablemate Momsextravagantheart.
It was a 1-2 finish for horses owned, bred and trained by Chantelle Bourgeois and her husband Dean Link of Enniskillen, ON with Shake It Twice winning for the third consecutive time in 2019.
The winner, a 3-year-old filly by the family's own stallion Look At Magics Form and mare, Shake Pretty Baby, raced 350 yards in :17.940 for a hefty 90 Speed Index rating.
"She probably broke the best for me she has ever this year," said Spataro. "I think that is what sealed the deal for us. I heard TP (jockey Tony Phillips on Momsextravagantheart) coming for us and he's been on fire today but she's a pretty gritty filly and there's a lot of good things to come."
Phillips won the first four races on the nine-race card to reach 22 wins on the season and pad his lead in the rider standings.
Bourgeois and Link bred four mares four years agowhen the future of horse racing was uncertain following the cancellation of the slots-at-racetracks revenue sharing program, and two of those racing this year resulted in the 1-2 finish.
"Shake It Twice was very sharp today and we had a lot of confidence in her," said Bourgeois. "But we knew [Momsextravagantheart] was an up and comer too. I have no words for this race. It was a team effort thanks to [jockeys] Cassandra Jeschke, who has helped us out so much, Cory and Tony and of course my amazing groom Melissa Slute who has so much dedication. It has been a phenomenal year and I am so grateful."
Fans at Ajax Downs on Sunday enjoyed another spectacular day of racing and wagering on the nine-race card was up 21 percent over the same day in 2018.
One of the biggest days of the Ajax Downs summer season is this coming Sunday, Aug. 18 with the 10th annual FAMILY FUN DAY with all proceeds going to the Ajax Pickering Hospital.
Follow Ajax Downs on Twitter (@AjaxDowns), Instagram, and Facebook plus its website http://www.ajaxdowns.com.
New Image Media photo