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Trainer Carolyn Costigan leads Inglorious to the winner's circle after the Woodbine Oaks
The $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser is the most important race for 3-year-old fillies foaled in Canada. A field of 9 went 1 1/8 miles over the Polytrack on Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, under sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's. As expected, Queen' s Plate winter book favorite Inglorious was sent off as the 8-5 favorite, exiting a win in the La Lorgnette Stakes at Woodbine after finishing second in the Rachel Alexandra (G3) and then close fourth in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) , both at the Fair Grounds. In to challenge her included 4-1 second choice Marketing Mix, second in the Fury last out, the main local prep for the Oaks, and 9-2 third choice Roxy Gap, winner of the Fury after finishing third in the Old Hat (G3) at Gulfstream.
Inglorious (outside) catches Spooky Kitten in the stretch.
Jockey Edgar Prado sent Spooky Kitten to the lead first time past the stands and she set easy fractions of 24.89, 50.57, and 1:15.31 while being stalked by 7-1 Bear It's Time. Spooky Kitten continued to lead to mid-stretch, getting the mile in 1:39.70, but Inglorious, who raced as far back as 7th early but never more than 3 1/4 lengths off the pace, came out for room and rallied well, passing the pacesetter inside the 1/16 pole to win by 3/4 length in 1:51.77. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back from Spooky Kitten to Marketing Mix third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Inglorious Contreras 5.20 3.40 2.40 8 Spooky Kitten Prado 7.70 4.70 9 Marketing Mix Lezcano 3.40 Winning Time: 1:51.77 $2 Exacta 3-8 39.90 $2 Trifecta 3-8-9 201.90 $1 Superfecta 3-8-9-7 352.35
Left: Inglorious in the winner's circle. Her trainer Josie Carroll said, "I was thinking it was a bit crowded here (around the far turn). Then I saw Luis starting to angle, and I thought he rode a heady race. I thought if we've got enough horse, we're okay. I thought she was (strong down the stretch). She does what you ask her to do. The only thing I said to Luis before the race is to just ride her with patience and confidence, and she'll do the rest, and that's what he did. She jumped out early, and he eased her back and some horses came around her. She didn't panic. He didn't panic. They relaxed and did their thing."
Right: Trainer Josie Carroll and jockey Luis Contreras pose with the trophy. Her owner Vern Dubinsky said, "I think that (Queen's Plate) would be our goal but you never know. We'll give it a rattle if she's good.''
Left: Inglorious parades for the fans with her flowers. Her jockey Luis Contreras said, "Well, not really worried (about being behind horses). I was in the best position in the race. I was behind the horses waiting for my move. She's amazing, what can I say? She can run anywhere she wants; doesn't matter."
Right: Inglorious in the post parade before the race. Asked if she would go next in the Queen's Plate against males, Carroll added, "After her race today, we'll see how she comes out of it, and we'll play it by ear. There are a lot of options that we're going to toss around, but right now, we're going to enjoy the moment. You don't go there unless you're 100%. So we'll make sure this filly is not too knocked out from this race, that she's going in as good as she can go in."
Left: Second place finisher Spooky Kitten leads first time by. Her trainer Mark Casse said, "Our feeling was that last time out (5th in the La Lorgnette Stakes) that if things would have gone differently she would have given Inglorious a run for her money. Well, she gave her a run for the money this time."
Right: Third place finisher Marketing Mix in the paddock before the race. The 4-1 second choice stalked the pace in 3rd under regular rider Jose Lezcano 1 1/2 lengths back, was asked for run at the 3/16 pole but could not improve position, finishing 3rd beaten 2 lengths at the line. The Tom Proctor trainee improved her record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 4 starts, earning $106,824 for owner Glen Hill Farm.
Left: Check Your Soul in the winner's circle with owner Charles Fipke at his head and trainer Roger Attfield at his hip. His jockey Patrick Husbands said, "He's still learning. He hasn't really figured it out yet. As the gates opened, he went up in the air. When I got by the 3/4 pole, I was kicking along. I wasn't really worried, because I knew I was on a nice horse. He comes from way out of it. From the two times I rode him, I found you can do anything with this horse. Fingers crossed we can get to the Plate."
Right: Favorite Bear's Chill took the lead first time by (shown here) and set a pressured pace under regular rider Emile Ramsammy, quickened on the turn but was swarmed at the 1/4 pole and tired badly late. The Reade Baker trainee has a record of 3 wins and 1 second in 5 starts, earning $189,084 for owner Bear Stables Ltd.
Kicking off the stakes action on Woodbine Oaks day was the $100,000 Alywow Stakes for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Jockey Emile Ramsammy sent 7-1 Speightstown Lady to the front soon after the start and she set quick fractions of 23.51 and 46.61 over the good turf with 8-1 Classy Zip stalking her in second. Speightstown Lady opened up a 2 length lead at the 1/8 pole but 2-1 favorite New Normal, 3rd early, came out 3 wide and passed her at the 1/16 pole to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:15.87. It was another 3/4 length back to Classy Zip third.
Patrick Lawley-Wakelin, racing manager for winner owner Robert S. Evans said, "I thought at one point she wasn't going to get there. She's got a super turn of foot and obviously she showed it today. And, she's got a lot of class."
Full results chart from DRF
During a vacation to Canada in 1989, he met the late Jerry Meyer and was persuaded to ride at Woodbine by the veteran trainer. He has won a number of key stakes races in Canada, including the 1996 and 2006 Queen's Plate, with Victor Cooley and Edenwold, respectively. He was also the recipient of the 1996 and 1997 Sovereign Award as the country's top rider. Ramsammy, who won the 1996 and 1997 Woodbine riding titles courtesy of 175 and 170 wins, moved his tack to California in 1998, where he rode 68 winners, along with seven stakes triumphs, returning to the Toronto oval the next year. From 2002-2005, he hit the double-digit mark in stakes scores. He notched the 2,000th victory of his career on November 29, 2009.
"It was a pleasant surprise when I learned that I was the recipient of this honour. I had never expected this at all," said Ramsammy, who has won 141 lifetime stakes races, including 29 graded through May 3. "I'm a very low-key person, someone who just goes with the flow. I told my agent (Neal Wilson) that I never expected this at all. When I look at the list of other riders who have won this award, it makes me very happy."
To the left, Ramsammy and his wife pose with the trophy. To the right, Ramsammy is congratulated by the rest of the Woodbine jockey colony.
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