Roxy Gap, enjoying a solid campaign so far this year with a pair of graded wins and two seconds in her past four starts, tries to transfer her form to turf against a good field in the $150,000 Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT) July 29 at Woodbine.
Among the opponents for the Eugene Melnyk homebred are defending Royal North winner Jenny's So Great, who upset the field last year at 8-1 odds.
The Royal North, at six furlongs on grass, attracted a field of seven older fillies and mares and goes off as the sixth race on the Sunday program at approximately 3:37 p.m. EDT. Also on the card is the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on grass, the final leg of Canada's Triple Tiara series.
Roxie Gap, a 4-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie trained by Mark Casse, scored wins this spring in Woodbine's Whimsical (Can-III) and Hendrie (Can-II) stakes on Polytrack. She has four starts on grass in her career, including a runner-up finish to the high-caliber Marketing Mix in the one-mile Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) June 2. The turn-back in distance should suit Roxy Gap. Patrick Husbands guides the 122-pound high weight from the far outside post.
Jenny's So Great, trained by Greg de Gannes for owners Bill and Vicki Poston, rallied from last in the 11-horse True North field last year to win surging by two lengths. The 5-year-old Greatness mare has won just once in eight starts since but tuned up for this with a good second in a high-priced allowance race at the True North distance July 6.
Atlantic Hurricane defeated Jenny's So Great by three-quarters of a length that day as the 4-5 favorite in a field of five. Claimed for $40,000 just over a year ago, the Stuart Simon-trained 5-year-old daughter of Halo's Image has won six of her 11 tries on turf.
Anywhere, a stakes winner on Woodbine's Polytrack, was most recently second in the Rainbow Connection Stakes at Fort Erie in her first start on the grass July 1. The Where's the Ring filly seeks her first graded win for trainer Robert Tiller.
Also coming out of the Rainbow Connection is fourth-place finisher Dance to the Moon, trained by Michael Doyle.
Classy Zip ships in for trainer Tony Dutrow off a fast-closing second to Inspired as the 4-5 pick in the grassy Fort Monmouth Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs June 17. She has finished in the money in eight of nine turf efforts, though she has just one win.
Honey Chile set a swift pace in the Chicago Handicap (gr. III) June 30 over Polytrack at Arlington Park before weakening to fourth for trainer Wayne Catalano. She has made three starts on turf and finished third in all three.
$150,000 Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT, Race 6, 3:37 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Jenny's So Great (ON), L Contreras, 118, G de Gannes
2. Honey Chile (FL), J M Campbell, 118, W M Catalano
3. Anywhere (ON), G Olguin, 120, R P Tiller
4. Classy Zip (VA), E R Da Silva, 118, A W Dutrow
5. Atlantic Hurricane (FL), E Ramsammy, 118, S C Simon
6. Dance to the Moon (ON), S Callaghan, 118, M J Doyle
7. Roxy Gap (ON), P Husbands, 122, M E Casse