By Woodbine Communications/ Chris Lomon

TORONTO – Moira, Canada’s reigning horse of the year, rocketed away from her rivals en route to an emphatic score in Saturday’s $200,000 Canadian Stakes (G2T) Presented by the Japan Racing Association on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine.

The Canadian, an about 1 1/8-mile race over the E.P. Taylor turf for 3-year-olds and up, went postward with six fillies and mares after the scratch of Talbeyah (IRE).

Miss Dracarys, fresh off an impressive score, her third straight victory, in the Dance Smartly (G2T), powered to the front under Dylan Davis, while 3-5 choice Fev Rover (IRE), last year’s Canadian winner who came into the race off a sensational triumph in the Beverly D. (G1T), shadowed the pacesetter to the outside, followed by Skims (GB), Ready Lady, Moira, and Atomic Blonde (GER), through an opening panel in :24.65.

It was status quo through a half in :48.25 as Miss Dracarys and Fev Rover (IR) continued their chess match on the front end, while Rafael Hernandez, aboard Moira, watched the lead pair from in fifth.

Miss Dracarys, still on top as the six-pack navigated the turn for home, was engaged to her outside by Fev Rover (IRE), but it was Moira, last year’s Queen’s Plate victress, in full flight, who swooped past the leaders with eye-catching ease and assumed control.

Ahead by four lengths at the stretch call, the 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper-Devine Aida continued to pour it on, going on to a 6 ¼-length win in a time of 1:46.04 over “good” ground. Skims (GB) was second, Atomic Blonde (GER) was third and Fev Rover (IRE) finished fourth. Ready Lady and Miss Dracarys rounded out the order.

It was the first win since the tough-as-nails bay won the Plate, an emotional victory for her connections, including Hernandez and trainer Kevin Attard.

“I just want to tell you guys, ‘Guess who is back? Moira,’” said Hernandez. “When she started warming up in the post parade, she started dancing and that’s it… they weren’t going to beat her today. She’s 100 per cent. She was just playing around in the backyard that she knows. When she turned for home, I let her switch her lead and said, ‘Come on baby, do what you know what to do.’ And she showed up today. Every time I ride her, it’s not just another horse. She has a special place in my heart.”

Attard, closing in on 720 career wins, was visibly moved when speaking of the Adena Springs-bred miss, now a graded stakes winner.

“She is a very special horse,” said Attard, who had watched Moira finish second, including in the Nassau (G2T) and Dance Smartly (G2T), in her three previous 2023 starts. “It was a little disappointing at the start, she just had some hard racing luck. Last time, she put it together and had a good trip, just kind of ran out of ground. She looks probably the best she’s ever looked. She’s trained well and it’s just so satisfying to see her put it all together. Now, we’re stretching out to distances where she is going to excel and show her true class.”

Moira, sporting a record of 5-4-0 from 11 starts for owners X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, and SF Racing LLC, appears to be headed to the $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1T) on October 8 at Woodbine.

“Most definitely,” said Attard, of the 1 ¼-mile E.P. Taylor. “I’m pretty sure. I have bosses, but ‘wink-wink.’”

She paid $7.90 for the win.

Moira and jockey Rafael Hernandez winning the Canadian Stakes on September 9, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo).