Updated on 09/18/2011 1:37AM

Like a Gem pays $98 in Wonder Where win

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Like a Gem ($98.10) upsets in the $252,800 Wonder Where Stakes at Woodbine Saturday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Like a Gem recorded a 48-1 upset in the $252,800 Wonder Where Stakes at Woodbine Saturday.

Kimchi, the 2-1 favorite in the 1 1/4-mile turf race, wound up fourth in her quest to become the first filly to capture the Canadian triple tiara, a series for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Strike Softly led through moderate fractions, over a course labeled soft. Kimchi pressed the pace, and Like a Gem assumed a stalking position under jockey David Clark.

Kimchi took a slim lead exiting the far turn, before fading in the final furlong. Like a Gem kicked in through the stretch, overtook Strike Softly inside the eighth pole, and scored by a half-length. Sprightly finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Strike Softly in third in the 12-horse field.

The final time was 2:05.61.

Like a Gem caught a virus before her dismal performance in the Woodbine Oaks, then bypassed the second leg of the series, the Bison City Stakes at Fort Erie. She was coming off a sixth-place finish in the Ontario Damsel Stakes, her turf debut.

"It's a credit to her that she was able to do this today," said Danny Vella, who trains Like a Gem for Hillsbrook Farm. "She was sick before the Oaks, and we thought she was over it, but she obviously wasn't. We had to get a start into her to get her fit for [this race], so we abused her and ran her in that short race. She's a very tough filly."

Like a Gem earned $150,000 in what is her first stakes victory. She returned $98.10, and headed an exactor worth $878.80. The triactor paid $7,167.70, and the superfecta was worth $38,265.80.