09/24/2011 5:39PM

Woodbine: Derby Kitten nails Ontario Derby

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Michael Burns
Derby Kitten, with Mike Smith riding, wins the Ontario Derby.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Derby Kitten mowed down the leaders in deep stretch to take the $158,400 Ontario Derby under Mike Smith at Woodbine on  Saturday.

Derby Kitten ($9) saved ground at the back of the pack, but was only about five lengths behind Silverleo, who set fractions of 24.90 and 49.45 seconds in the nine-furlong route for 3-year-olds. Smith angled Derby Kitten wide at the head of the stretch, and they closed strongly in the furlong to prevail by a half-length over Hippolytus in 1:50.32. Favored Moonshine Mullin finished another neck back in third, and Bowman's Causeway faded to fourth in the eight-horse field.

"His only race on Poly was pretty impressive, when he won the Lexington," said Smith. "He actually laid closer than he ever had, and I was hoping he'd do the same today, and he did. Once the doors opened, he put me right in the race, and it was just a matter of finding a place to go."

Derby Kitten banked $90,000 for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey. His trainer, Mike Maker, also captured last year's Ontario Derby with Grade 1 Bluegrass winner Stately Victor.

Pender Harbour was scratched in favor of the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby.