11/05/2016 5:08PM

Smart ride gives Ice Festival victory in Maple Leaf

Michael Burns
Ice Festival, with David Moran up, wins the Maple Leaf Stakes by a head Saturday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ice Festival ($21.50) ran the race of her life under a shrewd ride from David Moran to take the $175,300 Maple Leaf Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine.

Moonlit Promise set honest fractions in the 10-furlong route, with Hot Kiss and Ice Festival in close proximity. Hot Kiss made the lead on the far turn, after Moran angled Ice Festival off the rail into a three-wide position. Ice Festival wore down Hot Kiss in the drive while holding off a wide-closing Goodyearforroses to score by a head, in a time of 2:03.25. 

Goodyearforroses finished another head back in third in the nine-horse field. The favored Strut the Course never challenged after acting up in the gate.

Ice Festival was the second stakes success on the card for Moran, who also took the River Memories on Shelbysmile. He said trainer Sid Attard loved her chances in the Grade 3 fixture.

“Sid was very confident,” Moran said. “He said she’d take a lot of beating. He said to get a nice position. He wanted her on the outside, so I got a lovely chance going down the backside to move her outside. She was very game the last eighth of a mile.”

Ice Festival, a 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again, earned $90,000 in her first stakes victory for Stronach Stable, which doubled up on the card. 

** Second-time starter Vanish ($6.20) graduated in style in Saturday’s $150,000 Clarendon Stakes, winning the six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds by a nose over the front-running Katalox. The favored First Goal finished third in the six-horse field.

A son of Algorithms trained by Mark Casse, Vanish covered the distance in a quick 1:09.19 under Patrick Husbands.