Hall of Fame horseman Roger Attfield's homebred filly Gun Society took to the Tapeta in top form as she rallied from last to first to win her stakes debut in the $100,000 South Ocean under jockey Kazushi Kimura early Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
The Society's Chairman-Double Guns Girl filly had a record reading 1-1-2 from five starts on turf entering Saturday's main track feature. Fresh off a maiden-breaking victory in mid-October over the South Ocean's 1-1/16-mile distance, Gun Society was the 7-1 third choice in a field of six Ontario-sired two-year-old fillies.
Gun Society had trailed the field as much as 14 lengths through quick opening splits of :23.03 and :46.73 before launching her attack. She began to pass rivals heading to the final turn in pursuit of the front-striding favourite Owlette, who was riding a three-race win streak including stakes wins in the Shady Well and Victorian Queen but trying two turns for the first time.
The Wesley Ward-trained Owlette reached three-quarters in 1:12.30 with 4-1 second choice She's a Dream keeping pace until that point while the rest of the field had gapped eight lengths down the backstretch. Meanwhile, Gun Society had advanced into contention and was about to take over second-place before matching strides with the 2-5 favourite off the final turn.
In a battle that lasted the length of the stretch, Gun Society eventually wore down Owlette to win by a half-length in 1:45.34. November Fog closed from off the pace to finish back in third with Bambarra Bay passing She's a Dream in deep stretch and Wake Up Maggie completing the field.
Gun Society paid $16.10 to win and $3.90 to place. There was no show wagering.
Moving to the Tapeta wasn't a concern for Kimura. “When she got on Tapeta in the morning, she felt so nice,” he noted, adding, “She just kept going, she's such a nice horse.”
Kimura, named Outstanding Apprentice Jockey at last year's Sovereign Awards, has steadily climbed the Woodbine jockey standings in 2019 and sits third with 132 wins, just three behind Rafael Hernandez and trailing leader Eurico Rosa Da Silva by 25. Last year, he won a total of 104 races (89 at the Woodbine meet) including his first stakes with Muskoka champion Speedy Soul.
“I've got so much help from a lot of trainers and grooms and so many people that's why I just appreciate everybody,” said Kimura of his second season at Woodbine.
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