BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Two Florida-bred distaffers top a field of 11 fillies and mares in the Grade 3 Ontario Fashion presented by Tanqueray Saturday at Woodbine, as Loyalty and Our Flash Drive are the two program favorites in the CA$150,000 sprint over six furlongs on the synthetic main track.
Antony Beck’s Gainesway Stable and LNJ Foxwoods’ Loyalty is the morning line favorite at 2-1 while Live Oak Plantation homebred Our Flash Drive is the second choice at 5-2.
Trained by Josie Carroll, Loyalty is two-for-two at Woodbine in 2023, having won her first starts of the year by three-and-a-quarter lengths against upper level, $80,000 optional claiming fillies and mares at six-and-a-half furlongs on the all-weather course on June 25.
She then won Grade 3 Hendrie by two-and-a-half lengths at the same distance on July 22 at Woodbine before traveling to Presque Isle Downs for her next and most recent start in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters on Sept. 18. Again competing at six-and-a-half furlongs on a synthetic main track, the 4-year-old daughter of Hard Spun suffered her only loss of the year, finishing fourth, two-and-a-half lengths behind winner Accomplished Girl.
A consistent winner of six of nine career starts, including three stakes, Loyalty has one third and earnings of $311,572. She is out of Slew’s Quality, by Elusive Quality and was bred in the Sunshine State by Tom and Lori Fackler’s Best A Luck Farm LLC in Reddick, Fla., and Godolphin LLC.
Kazushi Kimura, who has ridden Loyalty in all three races this year, gets the return mount and they have post six.
Florida-bred Our Flash Drive – Michael Burns Photo
Our Flash Drive breaks from post seven and looks to keep her edge on Loyalty, having won the Grade 2 Bessarabian going seven furlongs at Woodbine in November, finishing five-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of Loyalty in third.
The Mark Casse-trained Our Flash Drive is also undefeated in two starts at Woodbine this year with a length-and-three-quarters score in the Grade 3 Whimsical at six furlongs on May 13 and winning the Grade 2 Royal North by a length-and-a-quarter over six-and-a-half furlongs on the turf on June 3.
Casse hopes returning to Woodbine will snap a two-race losing streak by the 5-year-old mare who was fifth in the Grade 3 Caress won by Roses for Debra going five-and-a-half furlongs on the Saratoga turf on July 22 and most recently fourth in the Grade 2 AGS Ladies Turf Sprint won by Bay Storm at six-and-a-half panels on the undulating, egg-shaped turf course at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 3.
Our Flash Drive, the Florida-bred champion older female turf horse of 2022, will be trying for her seventh stakes victory at Woodbine going back to 2021 when she won the Grade 3 Selene and Grade 3 Ontario Colleen. In fact, all seven of her career victories have come at the Toronto oval. She has 18 starts overall with three seconds and a third with earnings of $638,936.
Our Flash Drive is by Ghostzapper out of Dynamotor, by Dyanformer and Patrick Husbands, who has ridden Our Flash Drive eight times previously, most recently in the Royal North two starts back, has the riding assignment.
Another Ontario Fashion rival with plenty of Woodbine success is True North Stable’s Hazelbrook, who won this race last year.
The 5-year-old daughter of Bayern from the barn of trainer Lorne Richards, will also try to avenge her loss to Our Flash Drive when second in the Bessarabian and to Loyalty, having finished sixth in the Hendrie.
Hazelbrook enters the Ontario Fashion off of a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Seaway, won by Fashion entrant Ready to Venture (GB), going seven furlongs on the Woodbine synthetic on Sept. 17.
Hazelbook will be ridden by Jason Hoyte from post three and is 10-1 on the morning line.
The Michael Stidham-trained Ready to Venture is the 6-1 third choice on the morning line and will be ridden from post two by Ruben Hernandez. She is undefeated in two lifetime starts on the Woodbine main track but her other victories came against allowance fillies and mares at this six-and-a-half furlong distance in May of last year.
Completing the field for the Fashion are Souper Munnings, who will be ridden by Ryan Munger, Spun Glass with jockey Luis Contreras, Hard Edge and rider Eswan Flores, Justin Stein has the call on Vantarsi, Time for an Angel with Declan Carroll up, Awesome Treat and jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson and Sahin Civaci rides Artie’s Princess.
Return to Oct. 13 issue of Wire to Wire