Sent the slight choice at 6-5, Kays Shadow protected position from the pylon post and never looked back to score a 1:59.4 victory in the opening round of Pop-Up Series action at Flamboro Downs on Saturday (Jan. 15).
Driver Nick Boyd sent the nine-year-old Shadow Play mare for the lead to a :29.1 first quarter but promptly felt pressure coming to the second circuit when Cayo Loco lunged uncovered out of third. The pair matched strides past a :59.3 half and to three-quarters in 1:29 before the overland route began to tire Cayo Loco. Kays Shadow, riding the inside lane, cut the corner for home and widened her lead to the beam to beat Cayo Loco by two lengths while Georgia January took third another five lengths behind.
Owned and trained by James Dean, Kays Shadow won her 22nd race from 158 starts, earning $232,019. She paid $4.20 to win.
Innocent Kiss scored in the other division of the Pop-Up Series, sliding off a pocket trip to land a 7-1 upset in 2:00.1.
E L Citadel lead the field from the pylons as the field aligned in post-position order to the quarter in :30.1. They remained in that line through a 1:00.3 half, to three-quarters in 1:29.2 and coming into the stretch, where E L Citadel tired and a few came calling late. Innocent Kiss had the shortest route through the open stretch, skimming up the seam and holding off a rush from Dali Cat to win by three-quarter lengths. Odds-on favourite Release The Baby rallied for third.
Trained and owned by Ryan Steward, Innocent Kiss won her 16th race from 83 starts, earning $66,425. J. R. Plante drove the seven-year-old Westwardho Hanover mare who paid $17 to win.