Souper Hoity Toity Outlasts Moira in Belle Mahone

By Jim Mulvihill

Souper Hoity Toity held off 2022 Canadian Horse of the Year Moira to win the June 3 Belle Mahone Stakes (G3) by a neck. The win in the CA$157,800 race completed a Woodbine afternoon stakes sweep for the legendary connections of owner Live Oak Plantation, trainer Mark Casse, and jockey Patrick Husbands, coming one race after Our Flash Drive won the CA$181,250 Royal North Stakes (G2T). 

Souper Hoity Toity won four stakes at Woodbine last season but finished second in Sovereign Awards voting for champion 3-year-old female behind Moira, who had taken the Queen’s Plate and the Woodbine Oaks. The Belle Mahone was their first head-to-head meeting since their 2-year-old season when Moira finished second in the 2021 Mazarine Stakes (G3) ahead of Souper Hoity Toity in fourth.

In the 1 1/16-mile race, Souper Hoity Toity took the race right to Moira by grabbing the early lead. The Uncle Mo filly dictated the pace through comfortable fractions of 25.26, 50.75, and 1:14.87, entering the stretch with a one-length lead and plenty left. Moira saved ground around both turns and angled out at the top of the lane with a reasonable chance. But the easy lead played to Souper Hoity Toity’s advantage—as did, most likely, having a 2023 start under her belt—and the Uncle Mo filly dug in to fend off Moira by a neck in 1:44.49 on Tapeta.

Husbands said in studying the past performances of the race, he did not see any speed in the race and formulated a plan to try to beat rail-drawn Moira.

“The only way I beat this filly today is I’ve got to walk this race. If I walk this race, she can’t get out,” he said of his strategy.

He added that his mount dug in when she saw Moira angled out for a wide rally down the stretch. “She’s all gutsy,” Husbands said of Souper Hoity Toity.

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