ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Blond Me ($18.90) rallied from off the pace under jockey Oisin Murphy to take the Grade 1, $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes by a length over Kitten’s Roar at Woodbine on Sunday.
Blond Me, who had positive form over soft turf coming into the E.P. Taylor, sat off the pace early on as Rainha Da Bateria went to the lead. Quidura was tracking closely in second along the rail, with Kitten’s Roar in the 2 path, while the favored Nezwaah was in mid-pack.
Turning for home, Kitten’s Roar made her move and struck the lead at the top of the stretch, while Blond Me commenced her rally from the back of the field. Blond Me split horses on two occasions and continued to chip away at Kitten’s Roar’s lead with every stride, eventually taking the lead just inside the eighth pole. She finished in 2:08.08 for 1 1/4 miles on soft turf, while Fourstar Crook rallied late to be third.
Blond Me recorded her sixth win in her 17th start while recording her first Grade 1 victory for trainer Andrew Balding and owner Mrs. Barbara Keller. She banked $300,000 to bring her earnings past $1 million. Keller had previously finished second in the E.P. Taylor with Odeliz in 2014.
“It was a big wish of mine to come back and win the race,” Keller said. “Blondie, as we call her, was good enough. We knew that she could handle this ground, but the race is never won until it’s won.”