05/15/2016 5:04PM

Gamble's Ghost wears down Caren in Selene Stakes

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Michael Burns
Luis Contreras collects one of his three wins on the card aboard Gamble's Ghost in the Grade 3 Selene.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario—On a gusty Sunday at Woodbine, Gamble’s Ghost stamped herself as the probable favorite for the June 12 Woodbine Oaks with a hard-fought win over Caren in the Grade 3 Selene Stakes.

With Luis Contreras aboard, Gamble’s Ghost raced about seven lengths off a lively pace in the 1 1/16-mile  event for 3-year-old fillies. The Oaks- eligible Caren led the way while being pressed by Niigon’s Legacy, who rushed up after starting slowly.

Gamble’s Ghost mounted an eye-catching three-wide rally on the far turn to hit the front at the head of the stretch, and then wore Caren down to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:45.05. The favored shipper Thrilled finished a flat third, in the field reduced to six after the scratch of Luckbe Tanya.

Gamble’s Ghost ($6.90) was the third winner on the card for Contreras, who got a leg up from trainer Josie Carroll.

“I had to move a little bit earlier than I wanted to,” said Contreras. “I didn’t want to ride hard in the stretch [against] the wind, so I let her go from the three-eighths.”

Gamble’s Ghost, a daughter of Ghostzapper and stakes winner Gambling Girl, banked $108,000 of the $174,600 purse for owner-breeder Ivan Dalos.