Saskawea, a two-time stakes winner on the Woodbine turf, faces four older fillies and mares in the $150,000 Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT) Aug. 1 in Toronto.
Beclawat Stable's Ontario homebred daughter of Stormy Atlantic is coming off a close second-place finish in Woodbine's Repercussion Stakes July 8 when she was collared in deep stretch by Lady Attack and lost by a neck. The 5-year-old won the Zadracarta Stakes under the Royal North conditions of six furlongs on the turf by 1 1/4 lengths prior to that.
Trained by Steve Attard, Saskawea won the Avowal Stakes on the Woodbine lawn last September as well. The chestnut mare has raced on the Woodbine turf six times, compiling a 2-2-1 mark and earnings of $214,001. She has finished in the money in 15 of 20 starts overall, all coming at Woodbine, with six victories and earnings of $729,761.
Regular pilot Jono Jones will be aboard. They will break on the outside in the small field with 117 pounds.
Among Saskawea's four rivals is Dancing Allstar, who ran second in her turf debut in a stakes at Fort Erie July 12. Winner of the Whimsical Stakes (Can-III) on Woodbine's Polytrack following an 8 1/2-month layoff in April, she is trained by Terry Jordan for owner Bahadur Cheema. Dancing Allstar carries top weight of 119.
In her last start, the 4-year-old Millennium Allstar filly was hustled to the front in the Ernie Samuel Memorial Stakes but gave way late as the 9-10 favorite, finishing second to Bent Attorney by one length. Emile Ramsammy takes over the riding chores on Dancing Allstar, who was Canada's 2-year-old filly of the year in 2007. The chestnut has won nine of 16 career starts while banking $538,982.
New York-bred Canadian Ballet won a state-bred stakes on the Belmont Park lawn at seven furlongs in her most recent try July 11. Linda Rice trains the front-running daughter of City Zip for Obviously NY Stable. Canadian Ballet, who won an open turf stakes at five furlongs at Monmouth Park last fall, makes her third start of the year.
Glitter Rox, a stakes winner on Woodbine's turf in 2008, makes her first appearance since last November for Ellie Boje Farm and partners and trainer Ian Black.
Mommie Whiz captured an optional claiming allowance race at Woodbine July 10 for her second win over the course. She steps into stakes company for trainer Steve Asmussen.
$150,000 Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT, Race 6, 3:24 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Canadian Ballet (NY), P Husbands, 115, L Rice
2. Glitter Rox (ON), G Olguin, 117, I Black
3. Mommie Whiz (KY), L Contreras, 112, S M Asmussen
4. Dancing Allstar (BC), E Ramsammy, 119, T Jordan
5. Saskawea (ON), J C Jones, 117, S Attard