Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry’s talented homebred filly Dixie Moon returned to winning form as she wore down rival Avie’s Mineshaft in the $125,000 Carotene Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.
With a sharp work under her belt and blinkers added, the Catherine Day Phillips-trained Woodbine Oaks winner kept focused on the current turf task at hand, stalking favoured Wonder Where Stakes champion Avie’s Mineshaft throughout the 1-1/8-mile feature for three-year-old Ontario-bred fillies.
“Last time, she was not there at all. I left her alone because she was not there, it was not fair for the animal,” said winning jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva, referring to Dixie Moon’s previous September 29 outing in the Ontario Damsel Stakes where she flattened out and finished sixth. “She was not there for me, I just took care of her.
“She had a very, very nice work and she came very sharp for this race,” continued Woodbine’s meet-leading rider. “Catherine decided to put blinkers on her and, I can tell you, from the beginning to the end, she was very focused.”
Avie’s Mineshaft set fractions of :24.14, :47.97 and 1:12.10 with Dixie Moon moving up to apply pressure on the final turn before getting by late to prevail by half a length, leaving her connections breathing a sigh of relief to see her back on top of her game.
“She’s a wonderful horse,” said Da Silva. “She’s in the right hands. When the horse is in the right hands, they always can come back.”
“We’ve had many ups and we’ve had some downs and some shocks and some awes,” said Day Phillips, who may consider some winter races for the multiple stakes winning filly.
The daughter of Curlin was victorious in a final time of 1:48.31 with Avie’s Mineshaft settling for second-place honours and Line of Vision running on late for third. Desert Isle, who was in contention turning for home, finished fourth in her stakes debut while Bear Paw completed the order of finish. Zestina was scratched.
Sent off at odds of 5-2, Dixie Moon paid $7.50, $3.60 and $2.60. She combined with Avie’s Mineshaft ($2.70, $2.30) for a $16.30 exacta while Line of Vision ($2.80) completed the trifecta, which paid $26.70 for a $1 ticket. The $1 superfecta returned $51.35.