04/23/2011 6:06PM

Woodbine: Wildcat Marie gets early jump on key rival

Michael Burns
Wildcat Marie was able to set reasonable fractions en route to victory in the Whimsical.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wildcat Marie went to the front and never looked back to notch her first stakes Saturday at Woodbine in the Grade 3, $155,500 Whimsical.

Wildcat Marie and Waccamaw were expected to link up on the early lead, but Waccamaw got squeezed back at the break, which enabled Wildcat Marie to set moderate splits with the wind at her back.Ariana D mounted a charge in the stretch, but Wildcat Marie kept on going to prevail by a length and a quarter, in a time of 1:09.11. Favored Indian Apple Is rallied belatedly on the outside for third in the six-horse field.

Tyler Pizarro rode Wildcat Marie for trainer Marty Drexler.

“We got a little pressure down the backside, but she’s just an awesome filly,” said Pizarro.

Wildcat Marie, who opened up as the surprising 2-1 favorite, returned $7.50. She collected $90,000 for owner Joe Baldesarra and partners.