Zestina, a three-year-old daughter of Silent Name, seeks her second straight stakes score in Saturday’s $125,000 Ontario Damsel, at Woodbine.
Trained by Sid Attard and bred and owned by Stronach Stables, Zestina zips into the one-mile turf added-money feature off a polished 1 ¼-length triumph in the Passing Mood Stakes on September 1, contested at seven furlongs over a ‘firm’ E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
“I love her,” said the Hall of Fame conditioner. “She’s just such a nice little filly. She’s always feeling good. Right after the race, she’s bucking and squealing. She’s just a wonderful horse.”
And a consistent one, too.
In seven career starts, Zestina has three wins, two seconds and two thirds.
After launching her career with a runner-up effort on December 9, 2017, the Ontario-bred broke her maiden this May at Woodbine.
Under regular rider Gary Boulanger, Zestina, the even-money choice, turned a half-length lead at the stretch call into an eventual two-length victory in the seven-furlong main track race.
This year, she fashions a record of 3-1-2 in six starts.
“She’s so consistent,” praised Attard. “She was great in the Passing Mood. It was a very good performance. That’s what we’ve come to expect from her. The one thing you can count on is that she will go out there and give her best every time. She always tries and never gives you a bad race. It doesn’t matter if you run her on the Tapeta or the grass, she tries all the time. And she’s coming into the race very sharp.”
Zestina will face five rivals in the Ontario Damsel, including Dixie Moon, the multiple stakes winning daughter of Curlin, trained by Catherine Day Phillips.
The 2018 Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser champ heads into Saturday’s race off a second-place performance in the Wonder Where Stakes – final jewel in the Canadian Triple Tiara series – on August 12.
“Dixie Moon is bright and happy, and she’s eating well coming into the Ontario Damsel,” said Day Phillips. “I’m really looking forward to her race.”
As for Mr Havercamp, another Day Phillips standout who recently finished second to Oscar Performance in the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile, the conditioner is still beaming after the brilliant showing.
“We are so proud of Mr Havercamp’s Woodbine Mile race.”
FIELD FOR THE ONTARIO DAMSEL (Race 7)
Post / Horse / Jockey / Trainer
1 / Line of Vision / Luis Contreras / Andrew Smith
2 / Dixie Moon / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Catherine Day Phillips
3 / Zestina / Gary Boulanger / Sid Attard
4 / Safe to Say / Jesse Campbell / Mark Casse
5 / Lunar Garden / Rafael Hernandez / Stuart Simon
6 / Scarlet Flutter / Patrick Husbands / Malcolm Pierce