11/21/2011 1:48PM

Woodbine: Atlantic Hurricane's claiming days are over

Michael Burns
Atlantic Hurricane made her case for a Sovereign Award with this victory in the Grade 3 Bessarabian.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – There is no trophy for the claim of the year at Woodbine, but there are other tangible rewards.

Atlantic Hurricane has earned $335,760 since being claimed for $40,000 by trainer Stuart Simon here June 10, and she recorded her fifth win in six starts in Sunday’s Grade 3, $166,800 Bessarabian Stakes. With victories in the Grade 3, seven-furlong Seaway and the Grade 3, six-furlong Ontario Fashion also in the books for her current connections, Atlantic Hurricane will be difficult to overlook in the Sovereign Award balloting for Canada’s champion female sprinter.

“I have a great crew, arguably the hardest-working on the grounds,” said Simon, who also owns Atlantic Hurricane with Brent and Russ McClellan and Carl Hollick. “They do all the work; I only put the finishing touches on them.”

Atlantic Hurricane’s only loss for Simon came in the Avowal Stakes over a surface that he believes compromised her chances due to its deep and tiring nature. She bounced back with a half-length win in the Ontario Fashion under regular rider Emile Ramsammy.

Even though she won the Ontario Fashion, Simon did not think the six-furlong distance of that race was right for her. He decided to run her in the six-furlong Bessarabian anyway when she came out of the Ontario Fashion “jumping out of the bridle.”

“I was really confident, and I’m not like that,” he said.

Simon’s confidence was borne out early in the Bessarabian as Atlantic Hurricane settled into a textbook stalking trip under Ramsammy.

“At the three-eighths pole, I thought it was too good to be true,” said Simon. “There was nobody really moving, and he hadn’t even turned her loose yet.”

When Ramsammy let Atlantic Hurricane roll the result was a five-length victory and a well-deserved winter vacation.

“She’s going to go to Ocala,” said Simon. “She’ll get six or eight weeks off, and be back here in the spring. She deserves a sunshine holiday.”

Atlantic Hurricane won on turf in her first two starts off the claim, giving Simon plenty of options for the mare next season.

“I never envisioned her being just a sprinter,” said Simon. “It’s just the path we got on, and we never got away from it. I can see her going a mile and a sixteenth, on turf or Poly. It could probably drive a guy crazy, having just too many options.”