Joseph Baldesarra and Partners’ Wildcat Marie netted the natural hat trick in winning her third consecutive start, taking Saturday’s $155,500 Whimsical Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths, at Woodbine.
The six-furlong Polytrack event was the sixth win in her last seven starts and first added-money crown for the four-year-old daughter of Wildcat Heir, who now has six wins and four thirds from 10 career starts.
Trained by Martin Dexler, who claimed the horse for $40,000 last summer, Wildcat Marie won five races in 2010, along with two thirds, from seven starts.
She closed out her three-year-old campaign with two straight triumphs, including a 2 ¼-length victory at six panels over the Woodbine Polytrack on December 4.
After breaking sharply, Wildcat Marie gained a short lead down the backstretch under a confident Tyler Pizarro, taking the field through early splits of :22.39 and :44.53.
Ariana D, who notched a neck win in last year’s Bessarabian Stakes, was second, while mutuel favourite, Indian Apple Is, rallied down the lane to get third.
The final time was a sharp 1:09.11.
Pizarro, aboard the chestnut for the second time, was pleased to see the Florida-bred keep up her winning ways.
“Marty and I talked at the beginning and we knew she’d break sharply,” said Pizarro, who is off to a fine start in 2011. “She usually does and we just wanted to make sure she had enough turning for home. She’s just an awesome filly.”
Drexler wasn’t sure what to expect from Wildcat Marie in her seasonal debut.
“She’s a win machine,” said Drexler. “She’s overcome some issues. I wasn’t quite sure if she was tight enough. I actually tried to avoid this spot, but the owners wanted to go in. I’ll give them the credit for being in here. Sometimes you’ve got take a shot.”
Wildcat Marie paid $7.50, $4.40 and $2.90, combining with Ariana D ($4.40, $2.70) for a $33.10 exactor. Indian Apple Is ($2.80) completed a $100.10 triactor.