Bessarabian Stakes Offers Rematch of Ontario Fashion Stakes Rivals

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

November 23rd, 2018

If the field for Sunday’s $175,000 Bessarabian Stakes (gr. II) at Woodbine seems a bit familiar, that’s because the seven-furlong all-weather sprint is essentially a rematch of last month’s Ontario Fashion Stakes (gr. III) over the same track.

The top four finishers from the Ontario Fashion—Silent Sonet, Jessica Krupnick, Moonlit Promise, and Code Warrior—are set to face off again, along with the sixth-place finisher My Miss Tapit and the ninth-place finisher Sugar Jones. Of these half-dozen fillies and mares, Silent Sonet might appear to be the most likely winner at first glance, but take note, she was 56-1 in the Ontario Fashion and received a great trip that day stalking a modest early pace. From that perspective, you can argue that the late-running Moonlit Promise might have been best in the Ontario Fashion Stakes, and with her admirable 7-for-15 record over the Woodbine all-weather track, she could certainly turn the tables on Sunday.

One major contender who skipped the Ontario Fashion Stakes is Let It Ride Mom, runner-up in the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. II) on September 17th. Trained by Mark Casse, the daughter of Into Mischief has finished in the exacta in eight of her nine starts at Woodbine and should be a tough one to keep out of the money, though she was beaten twice by Code Warrior during the summer, including when Let It Ride Mom came home a disappointing fifth in the Seaway Stakes (gr. III) over this track and distance on August 26th.

Casse will also be represented by Malibu Bonnie, an experienced graded stakes competitor still seeking a breakthrough victory against this level of competition. In her most recent run, she came home second in a Woodbine allowance race behind the up-and-coming Kasuga, who brings improving form into the Bessarabian field. Meanwhile, the three-year-old Ladies Night—third in the Ontario Colleen Stakes (gr. III) on turf—will cut back in distance while facing older rivals for only the second time in her career. Also taking on her elders is Monte Crista, winner of the Riskaverse Stakes on turf at Belmont Park.

Red Explosion and Alnilah, two capable allowance competitors who finish in the exacta more often than not, add further depth to the Bessarabian field, while the last horse in the main body of the field is Red Cabernet, a stakes winner over the Woodbine turf course and runner-up in the Overskate Stakes on the all-weather last month. Mexican Hat, a stakes-placed runner at Woodbine, is the lone also-eligible and will need one rival to scratch in order to compete.

The Bessarabian Stakes is the eighth race on the card, with a post time of 4:38 p.m. Eastern.