08/25/2008 12:00AM

Koonunga Hill noses out Panther Strike


Koonunga Hill proved a game winner of the $109,500 Ice Water Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Woodbine on Sunday.

Koonunga Hill ($4.30) prevailed by a nose over Panther Strike in the seven-furlong turf race, after running rank on the early lead under Constant Montpellier.

"Coming out of [the gate], she was really dragging me," said Montpellier. "I tried to settle her, and her head was going up in the air, so I had to let her go a little. She relaxed around the turn. She switched to her left lead at the end when she fought with [Panther Strike], and lost some of her momentum."

Koonunga Hill covered the distance in 1:22.33. She banked $66,000 in her first stakes score for Empress Stable and trainer Steven Owens.

Freyga finished third in a race reduced to six starters after the scratches Baytree and Lady Shakespeare.

* Glitter Rox ($6.50) captured the $101,200 Belle Geste by a length over Dance to My Tune. Half Sister was third in the eight-horse field of Ontario-bred fillies and mares.

Chantal Sutherland got a leg up from trainer Ian Black on Glitter Rox, who ran seven furlongs on turf in 1:20.94 and earned $60,000 in her first stakes victory.