Updated on 09/17/2011 6:19PM

Woodbine: 'Blonde' repels challenges

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Michael Burns Photo
Blonde Executive (#2) wins the Grade 3 Duchess Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Blonde Executive shrugged off three challenges to win the Grade 3 , a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine.

With Richard Dos Ramos riding, Blonde Executive ($6.80) set fractions of 22.18 and 44.49 seconds while being pressed by favored Boston Express, who retreated on the turn.

Blonde Executive turned back a bid from longshot Search the Church at the head of the stretch, and then held off a closing Silver Bird in the final strides to prevail by a neck.

Search the Church finished another four lengths back in third in the five-horse field. The final time was 1:23.26.

"She ran hard the whole race," said Dos Ramos. "She's a very talented filly, and she's light on her feet. She just does it so easily."

* Refuse to Bend ($69.90) rallied to take the supporting feature, the $104,000 Izvestia Stakes, by a half-length over Ide Be Gone. Favored Norfolk Knight finished another half-length back in third.