BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Florida-bred Reasonably Lovely came out of a three-horse battle around the far turn and fought it out with Olive’s Candy down the stretch before pulling away inside the final sixteenth to win the CA$51,050 Manitoba Oaks at Assiniboia Downs Wednesday night. Ridden by Neville Stephenson for trainer Steve Keplin Jr., Reasonably Lovely defeated eight other 3-year-old fillies while finishing the one mile in 1:41.06 on the fast track.
Olive’s Candy and Night Flyer set the pace in the Manitoba Oaks, racing heads apart through a first quarter mile in :23.45 with Diamond Grand another half-length back in third and Reasonably Lovely a close up fourth on the outside. Approaching the far turn, Stephenson asked Reasonably Lovely to join the two frontrunners after a half mile in :48.27 and they went three abreast past the quarter pole where Reasonably Lovely appeared to have the momentum three-wide. Olive’s Candy fought back on the rail to stay even with Reasonably Lovely turning for home before the latter got the edge nearing the wire to win by a length-and-three-quarters.
Olive’s Candy was second with Diamond Grand third. Night Flyer, Sparkling Silver, Where’s the Pumps, I’ve Got All Nite, Governor Ann and Dubd Saint Angel completed the order of finish.
Reasonably Lovely paid $9.50 to win as the 7-2 third choice.
It was the first career stakes victory for Reasonably Lovely, after finishing third behind winner Spitten Kitten in her previous start in the CA$51,000 Jack Hardy going seven-and-a-half furlongs at Assiniboia Downs on July 10. She was also second in the CA$25,000 One and Only Overnight Stakes going five furlongs on May 30 and fourth in the CA$50,000 Chantilly at six furlongs on June 20, both won by Spitten Kitten at Assiniboia Downs.
Reasonably Lovely has now won two of 11 career starts with two seconds and three thirds and increased her earnings to $52,436. She is owned by James Parisien, who purchased her after she defeated $16,000 maiden claimers going a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Tampa Bay Downs in April.
A chestnut filly, Reasonably Lovely is by Union Rags out of Conquest Sweetride, by Candy Ride (Arg) and was bred in Florida by Alfonso and Nora Figliolia in the name of their Westbury Stables LLC located in Reddick, Fla.
Unplaced in one start, Conquest Sweetride was purchased by Westbury Stables while in foal to Malibu Moon for $210,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale out of the Kings-wood Farm consignment. She is a half-sister to multiple Grade 2-winner Spelling Again and stakes-winner Sky Willow and has produced three winners from three starters with Reasonably Lovely her third foal.
Reasonably Lovely is a half-sister to stakes-placed Beef Willow, by Honor Grade and an unraced 3-year-old gelding, Grubauer, by Frosted. Conquest Sweetride has an unnamed weanling filly by Street Sense and was bred to Yaupon in 2023.