One of the the Canadian racing season’s biggest highlights is RICOH WOODBINE MILE weekend, featuring three Win and You’re In stakes races, which earn winners a berth at the sport’s championship weekend, the Breeders’ Cup. Betting on Mile Satuday tallied-in at a whopping $11.8 million.
Bringing it home for the locals this year was super-mare STARSHIP JUBLIEE who continues to be a dream claim for Trainer Kevin Attard, notching his first win in the $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile in his first ever attempt. The seven-year-old mare by Indy Wind was a $16,000 claim in Florida with the helpful eye of Attard‘s father Tino, back in 2017 and with her win in the Mile, took her lifetime earnings past the $2-million mark. In addition to beating her male counterparts, Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year solidified her case for another shot at the title at next year’s 46th edition of the Sovereign Awards, honouring Canada’s best in racing. Justin Stein was aboard for the win for Blue Heaven Farm, winning by a margin of one length over Mark Casse Trainee MARCH TO THE ARCH in a time of 1:32.06, less than a second off the track record set back in 2013 in the same race by Wise Dan.
Female talent were front-and-center on Mile Saturday. In addition to STARSHIP JUBILEE beating the boys, female Trainers Gail Cox and Breeda Hayes also nabbed stakes scores, in addition to Jockeys Sheena Ryan and Emma-Jayne Wilson.
Some snaps below of the joyous festivities.
MARCH TO THE ARCH ran a very credible second for Casse and Live Oak Plantation, under Patrick Husbands.
Favoured WAR OF WILL, winner of the 2019 Preakness Stakes and the 2020 Maker’s Mark Mile finishes a solid third for Casse and Owner Gary Barber.
Also on the card was the $125k Singspiel Stakes, taken by Sam-Son Farm‘s COUNT AGAIN. The five-year-old gelding scored in a 9-1 upset under Luis Contreras, for Trainer Gail Cox.
CREDIT RIVER scored a 41-1 upset in the $135k Ontario Racing Stakes for Trainer Breeda Hayes and Owner Hillsbrook Farms. Emma-Jayne Wilson piloted the sweeping score.
4-1 shot DIRTY DANGLE, a two-year-old daughter of Not This Time, won the $135k Woodbine Cares Stakes under Sheena Ryan for C. DeMizio & Mary Biamonte and Trainer Ralph Biamonte.
Stakes action continued Sunday with the Grade I Summer and Natalma Stakes. Winners from each race will be guaranteed a spot in the Breeders’ Cup.
Woodbine-based GRETZKY THE GREAT, a son of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and namesake of Canada’s great hockey icon, took the $300k Grade I Summer Stakes under Kazushi Kimura for Owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Gary Barber and Trainer Mark Casse.
Roger Attfield Trainee LADY SPEIGHTSPEARE was simply unstoppable under Emma-Jayne Wilson, who capped-off her fantastic weekend with a score in the $300k Grade I Natalma Stakes for Owner Charles Fipke.