Last year’s champion grass mare Forever Together will attempt to add some more black-type to her already stellar resume when facing six other fillies and mares, including the highly regarded Points of Grace, in the $300,000 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) Sept. 20 at Woodbine.
The race is on the undercard for the Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) and the Northern Dancer Turf Presented by Vtech (both Can-IT). Post time for the 1 1/8-mile contest is 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Forever Together is owned by George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable, which just collected the award as 2008’s National Owner of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owner’s and Breeders’ Association. Much of the stable’s success has stemmed from the Jonathan Sheppard-trained Forever Together, who captured the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) during her championship season.
The daughter of Belong to Me, third in last year’s Canadian in her Woodbine debut, has raced just three times this year, but has won or placed in all of those efforts. She posted a victory in the Jenny Wiley (gr. IT) at Keeneland, a second in the Just a Game (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, and scored in the Aug. 1 Diana (gr. IT) last out at Saratoga.
Bred in Kentucky by White Fox Farm, Forever Together is out of the Relaunch mare Constant Companion. The filly, who boasts a record of 9-2-3 from 17 starts and earnings of more than $2.5 million, will be piloted by regular rider Julien Leparoux.
Points of Grace figures to be Forever Together’s main threat. The 4-year-old daughter of Point Given has won three of her four starts at Woodbine, including the July 11 Dance Smartly (Can-II). Trained by Pierce Malcom for Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation, Points of Grace will enter the Canadian off a fifth in the Aug. 8 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park. Luis Contreras will ride.
Other challengers in the Canadian include Much Obliged, a winner at Woodbine in her last two starts; and Princess Haya, who has won or placed in all six of her races this year, including a runner-up effort in her most recent outing, the Aug. 2 Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Completing the field are She's The Umpire and Lomaki, both winners at Woodbine; and Dance to My Tune, who won a stakes in 2007 at the Toronto racetrack and is looking to snap an 11-race winless streak.
$300,000 Canadian Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 4, 2:30 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Much Obliged, (KY), P Husbands, 115, M Pierce
2. Princess Haya (TX), R Bejarano, 113, M R Matz
3. She's the Umpire (FL), R C Landry, 113, Y Belsoeur
4. Dance to My Tune (ON), E Wilson, 113, M E Casse
5. Forever Together (KY), J R Leparoux, 124, J E Sheppard
6. Points of Grace (KY), L Contreras, 121, M Pierce
7. Lomaki (KY), J C Jones, 113, E Coatrieux