06/04/2016 4:10PM

River Maid by a nose in Ballade Stakes

Michael Burns
River Maid and jockey Gary Boulanger win the Ballade Stakes by a nose over She's Explosive.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – A determined River Maid caught another longshot, She’s Explosive, in the final jump to notch the $125,400 Ballade for Ontario-sired females at Woodbine on Saturday.  

After a tardy start, River Maid raced three wide in midpack on the turn in the six-furlong sprint. She’s Explosive emerged from a speed to duel to take control in the stretch before River Maid closed between her and a wide Scotty’s Model to prevail by a nose in 1:11.46 over the slow Tapeta surface.

Scotty’s Model hung late but finished a clear third over Quidi Vidi. Galina Point, the 4-5 favorite, was a nonthreatening sixth in a field reduced to nine after three scratches.

Gary Boulanger got a leg up from trainer Bob Tiller on River Maid, who has now won her last four races and is unbeaten in three starts this year.

“She’s a real sweetheart,” said Tiller. “We stopped on her off a win last year, which is very hard to do for any trainer. She just wasn’t right. She had some muscle issues. She just wasn’t 100 percent. We gave her the rest of the year off, looking forward to this year, in particular, looking forward to this stakes.”

River Maid ($22.70) earned $75,000 in her first stakes success for The Very Dry Stable.

• Stronach Stable’s Charming Delilah ($9.70) won the overnight stakes on the card, the $116,800 Sweet Briar Too, by a half-length over Chic Thrill. Emma-Jayne Wilson rode the Sid Attard-trained 5-year-old, who covered seven furlongs in 1:25.64.