07/28/2013 3:56PM

Woodbine: Nikkis Smartypants scores in Royal North Stakes

Michael Burns
Nikkis Smartypants and jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva win Sunday's Grade 3 Royal North Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Nikkis Smartypants ($19.60) won the front-end battle and the war in Sunday’s Grade 3, $175,500 Royal North Stakes at Woodbine.

Nikkis Smartypants linked up on the lead with Little River through splits of 22.82 and 45.90 seconds in the six-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares. She took control in the final furlong and score by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:09.49 over a course labeled “good.”

A troubled Why Katherine edged out Little River and Roxy Gap for third, while Sensible trailed the seven-horse field after breaking six lengths behind the others.

It was the first turf start and the first stakes triumph for the Bob Tiller-trained Nikkis Smartypants, who banked $108,000 for owner Ben Hutzel.

“I knew I had a lot of horse today,” said Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who rode the winner. “She was very focused. She has a beautiful stride.”