09/10/2016 8:52PM

Victress outfinishes Snuggles in British Columbia Oaks

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - With a perfectly timed ride by Amadeo Perez, Victress edged heavily favored Snuggles to win the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks at Hastings on Saturday.

While Brookys Star was setting a quick pace under pressure from Omi in the 1 1/8-mile race, Perez was content to let Victress ($11) linger at the back of the pack. She was still last after six furlongs in 1:11.62, but was starting to roll. Snuggles made a quick more to take over the lead heading into the stretch turn, but Victress collared her midway through the turn. In a thrilling finish, they battled the rest of the way with Victress winning by a neck. Chianti was 10 1/2 lengths back in third.

“I knew we were pretty far back but I was confident in her,” said Perez. “I had a lot of horse, but when she made the lead in the stretch she wanted to stop running so I had to keep after her.”

The final time was 1:51.30

Victress is trained by Rob Gilker. He owns the daughter of Include with his wife, Victoria.

It was just the third start in her career and before the race Gilker said he wasn’t sure if Victress was seasoned enough to win the richest race for 3-year-old fillies in the Pacific Northwest.

“To beat a horse like Snuggles is pretty special,” said Gilker.

It was the first loss this year for Snuggles.

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Gilker said Victress would be pointed to the Grade 3, $100,000 Ballerina on Oct. 3.

In the Ballerina, she will likely be facing Touching Promise, who won the $75,000 Delta Colleen for fillies and mares. Also ridden by Perez, she paid $9 for her half-length win over the 5-2 favorite Arabella’s Muse. Locket rallied to finish third.

Touching Promise is trained by Barbara Heads. A daughter of Touch Gold, Touching Promise is owned and was bred by Russell J. and Lois Bennett.

Touching Promise will be going for her third straight win in the Ballerina.