Isabella Bay, with Chantal Sutherland in the irons, sprung a 10-1 upset in yet another thrilling edition of the $126,200 South Ocean Stakes, Wednesday evening at Woodbine.
A daughter of Strut the Stage, Isabella Bay, eighth and last at the start, rallied under strong urging from Sutherland and caught a game Dreamy Moonlite late for her first added-money tally. Mutuel favourite Sagatiba was third.
The Ontario-bred, who won by three-quarters of a length, traveled 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.69.
Zee Beauty led by 6 ½-lengths after a quarter-mile in :24.18 and was ahead by the same margin after a half in :48.51. Dreamy Moonlite had a 3 ½-length lead at the stretch call, but couldn’t fend off Isabella Bay.
“The plan was to take her back,” said Sutherland. “It doesn’t always work out in racing, but it worked out well for her. She relaxed. A couple of times, she jumped on the bridle a little, and she was aggressive. The race set up nicely for her. I was concerned at the quarter pole, because she came off the bridle, but when I asked her, she had the fitness to move on.”
Isabella Bay is owned by Felicia Gretchen, Donald Ross and Frances White. She is trained by Ian Howard.
For Sutherland, it was her colony-leading 17th stakes score of the season. For Isabella Bay, it was her second win, along with two thirds, from six career starts.
Said Howard: “Chantal did a great job getting her left a little out of the gate, and covered up. It worked out perfectly.”
It was a decidedly different outcome for Isabella Bay, who came into the South Ocean off a ninth-place finish, 10 ¼-lengths behind Grand Style in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes on October 30.
Isabella Bay paid $23.60, $8.10 and $3.90, combining with Dreamy Moonlite ($4.70, $2.80) for an $81.40 exactor. Sagatiba ($2.40) completed a $182.50 triactor. A $1 Superfecta (Molinaro Social) returned $895.95.