07/10/2011 5:42PM

Woodbine: Never Retreat doesn't have to settle for second in Dance Smartly

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Michael Burns
Never Retreat, second in her first two appearances at Woodbine, captures the Grade 2 Dance Smartly.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Never Retreat didn’t surrender in Sunday’s $301,400 Dance Smartly Stakes, in which she held off favored Bay to Bay and Mekong Melody in the late going to take the Grade 2, nine-furlong turf route for fillies and mares. 

Never Retreat ($10.10), based at Arlington with trainer Chris Block, had been to Woodbine twice before, which resulted in two runner-up placings in stakes. She polished off an excellent field Sunday under Shaun Bridgmohan.

“She so professional,” said Bridgmohan. “She was relaxed, sitting off horses. She made the lead, and was looking around for some competition. When I switched sticks left-handed, I got after her, and she gave me what I needed.”

War Tigress set a slow pace while being tracked by Never Retreat, who took control early in the stretch en route to a 1 ¼-length win over Bay to Bay, who had beaten her in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes here June 4. Mekong Melody, last year’s Dance Smartly winner, finished a close third in the 10-horse field. The final time was 1:46.48 over the firm going.

Never Retreat collected $180,000 for Team Block.