Photo: Michael Burns Photo

Woodbine Racetrack’s first juvenile race of 2022 was a romp for Ontario Bred Botta Swing. The chestnut filly blazed to a track record of 50.94 to win the four-and-a-half-furlong sprint over the main track Tapeta by four lengths. She was named a TDN Rising Star for the effort. 

Botta Swing (Not This Time-Lady of the Glen by Purim) was foaled in Ontario after her dam, Lady of the Glen, was enrolled in the Mare Recruitment Program (MRP), a component of the Thoroughbred Improvement Program administered by Ontario Racing. 

“We saw the offering of $5,000 CAD to send up a mare, and we thought that’s something that makes sense for us,” said breeder, Brian Malloy. “Our program emphasizes route turf and poly-track horses, and now (Woodbine) has two turf courses and the Tapeta track, so it fits with us really well.” 

As a fan of the world class racing at Woodbine Racetrack, Molloy follows the Ontario horse racing scene closely. He discovered the MRP through advertising on social media and in Thoroughbred Daily News.  

Botta Swing’s dam Lady of the Glen was purchased in-foal to Not This Time, for $5,200 at Keeneland January Sale by Kestrel Stud LLC, co-owned by Malloy and his wife. Botta Swing was foaled at Curraghmore Farm in Waterdown, Ontario. The mare was one of the first three Kestrel Stud enrolled in the MRP. 

“We never expected to have the very first horse that we had in the program, and first horse foaled up there, to break the track record and look like this. It’s beyond our wildest dreams,” said Malloy. “The time that she set, it’s equivalent to what Lady Aurelia set in her first start. She looks like something else.” 

In addition to the initial MRP incentive, Molloy praised the added benefit of the Ontario Breeders’ Awards. Kestrel Stud earned $10,000 for Botta Swing’s maiden win and is eligible for up to $225,000 of the $5.89 million available to the breeders of successful Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired horses. 

Botta Swing sold at the Keeneland September Sale last fall, where Hoolie Racing LLC offered up $160,000 for the athletic filly. The breeder noted her eligibility for Ontario Bred stakes and bonuses added to her appeal. 

“The demand for Ontario Breds at the Keeneland Sales is pretty strong,” said Malloy. “I think she benefitted from the fact she was an Ontario Bred, although she was outstanding, and we expected to do quite well with her. 

Kestrel Stud hit a home run with Botta Swing its first time participating the Mare Recruitment Program, and they’re hopeful to keep getting on base. They have more mares enrolled in the program this breeding season. 

“We are delighted to be a part of Ontario Racing,” said Molloy. “You have a phenomenal program, and we love your racing.” 

Click here for details on all the benefits available through Ontario Racing’s Thoroughbred Improvement Program.