11/07/2009 12:00AM

Serenading steals Maple Leaf with soft splits

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Serenading set dawdling fractions before holding off 2-5 favorite Ginger Brew to capture the $183,138 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.

Serenading ($8.40) took the lead after an opening quarter in 27.52 seconds, and then proceeded to set slow fractions of 53.28 and 1:17.16 in the 1o1/4-mile route. Ginger Brew commenced a wide rally from third on the far turn, but Serenading maintained a clear lead throughout the stretch, and got home on top by 2 1/4 lengths in 2:06.19.

Roses 'n' Wine finished another 3o3/4 lengths back in third in the four-horse field of fillies and mares. With the scratch of Indigo North, there was no place, show, or trifecta wagering.

Patrick Husbands, Woodbine's runaway leading jockey, rode Serenading for trainer Josie Carroll.

"When we left the gate, nobody wanted the lead," said Husbands. "My filly relaxed, and after we got to the wire [for the first time], we took the lead. Four and one-half furlongs out, I said 'Let's go.' "

Serenading, a daughter of A.P. Indy, banked $110,250 for the partnership of Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings and Glenn Sikura.