Driven by Mike Saftic, Tea Party Princess settled into third off the gate while Voelz Hanover (Mario Baillargeon) sped to the top and carved out fractions of :27.3, :57.2, and 1:25.3. As the field approached the third quarter mark, Tea Party Princess made her move and began to apply pressure to the leader. She eventually wore down Voelz Hanover in the final strides to score the 1:52.2 triumph. Jolting Kate (Scott Zeron) finished two and a half lengths behind in third.
Although the victory was the first of Tea Party Princess' aged career, it was not her first win against Open company. The four-year-old Art Major-Hannah Banana mare was tested in the Open class at the end of her sophomore year in which she won her divisional New York Sire Stakes Championship.
David Menary trains the 14-time winner, who is closing in on a half-million dollars in earnings, for owner Brad Gray of Dundas, Ont.
The winner paid $4.70 as the 6-5 popular choice.
In other action, trainer Nick Gallucci scored his first career win on the WEG circuit with trotting mare Hi Edith, in rein to Scott Zeron, which he claimed one month ago at Woodbine. The 24-year-old Brantford, Ont. resident is now two-for-five in his young conditioning career. He scored his first victory with the Anthony MacDonald-driven pacing mare Tedeschi on Jan. 15 at Flamboro Downs.