Stronach Stables' Ice Festival is Latest Awesome Again Graded Stakes Winner
Stronach Stables homebred Ice Festival got up in the final jump to nose out Hot Kiss and capture Saturday's featured Grade 3 $175,300 Maple Leaf Stakes, at Woodbine.
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Trained by Sid Attard, the Awesome Again grey was making her graded stakes debut off a romping 5 1/4-length win in an off-the-turf optional claiming route on October 8, at Woodbine. Sent to post at odds of 9-1 in the 1 1/4-mile Tapeta tilt, Ice Festival provided jockey David Moran with his second stakes win of the day, the Irish rider having previously captured the River Memories with Shelbysmile.
Hot Kiss took over from Moonlit Promise as the field straightened away and battled gamely to the wire but Ice Festival, under great urging from Moran, found the wire first for a head win. Hot Kiss held place by a head over Goodyearforroses. Ice Festival stopped the clock in 2:03.25.
Moran believes the outside move into the turn helped propel Ice Festival to victory.
"Sid was very confident. He was very clear that we get a nice position, but he wanted her on the outside," said Moran. "I got a lovely chance going down the back to move her outside those two (Moonlit Promise and Hot Kiss) and she was very game the last eighth of a mile.
"She could have been third or first," continued Moran. "But, the closer we got to the wire the harder she was running."
Ice Festival, bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, banked $108,000 in victory while improving her bankroll to $302,822
- edited from www.woodbineentertainment.com