Jockey Chantal Sutherland ships in to Woodbine on Sunday to ride Awesome Fire in the C$250,000 Wonder Where Stakes, third leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara Series.
Nine fillies, including stakes winners Dene Court, Blue Heart and Rose and Shine, along with Woodbine Oaks third-place finisher Awesome Fire, will contest the 1 1/4-mile event over the E.P Taylor Turf Course.
Awesome Fire is trained by Nick Gonzalez for Urban Fire Corp., which is owned by Chantal's brother Hugh Sutherland. The chestnut filly, a chestnut daughter of Strong Contender, loomed large at the top of the lane in the Woodbine Oaks but could not chase down eventual winner Irish Mission en route to a third-place finish when defeated just three-quarters of a length.
Awesome Fire enters the Wonder Where off a fourth-place effort in the Bison City, and will be making her turf debut in the contest off a five-furlong move in 1:00 on Woodbine's Polytrack last Thursday.
Sutherland, who got the Del Mar meet started on the right foot when taking the 1ST race on the opening card, is thrilled to be home, even if only for one card.
"I'm very excited to ride my brother's horse and to ride for Nick and Martha Gonzalez," Sutherland said. "My brother is so stoked I am coming to Canada and I, too, am excited to come home and ride that beautiful turf course."
Providing strong opposition is Dene Court, a perfect two-for-two over the Woodbine lawn with scores in the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow and one-mile Ontario Damsel. The Eugene Melnyk charge, trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Patrick Husbands, has been ultra-consistent in her five-race career, boasting three wins and a pair of seconds.
The City Zip has been effective on both turf and Polytrack, taking her maiden at first asking on the main track followed by a pair of second-place efforts in the Shady Well and Fury Stakes.
Blue Heart, who was second to Dene Court in the Alywow, came back to win the second leg of the Triple Tiara, the 1 1/16-mile Bison City Stakes, by 1 3/4 lengths. The Brian Lynch trainee, a gray Exchange Rate filly, was closing quickly in the Alywow in just her first turf start to be second by a neck. She captured the Mazarine Stakes as a juvenile.
Part the Seas, a Sam-Son Farm homebred by Stormy Atlantic, should appreciate the added distance of the Wonder Where off a second in the Ontario Damsel last out, and will look to close into the pace expected to be set by front-runners Dene Court and Black Bird Rock.
The field includes four turf winners -- the aforementioned Dene Court and Part the Seas, along with longshots Lateegra and Sibonet. The impeccably-bred Lateegra, a daughter of North Light trained by Mike Doyle and ridden by Slade Callaghan, broke her maiden last out in a 10-furlong turf tilt. Sibonet, trained by Scott Fairlie and ridden by Michelle Rainford, closed from out of the clouds on July 1 to take a seven-furlong claiming event over the E.P Taylor Turf.
Point of Emminence, a chestnut daughter of Point Given who was second in a grassy claiming event last out, completes the field.
Woodbine's Sunday undercard includes the Grade 3, C$150,000 Royal North Stakes, for fillies and mares three years old and upwards. Atlantic Hurricane heads the seven distaffer field as she seeks to extend her unbeaten mark over Woodbine's turf to a perfect five-for-five. The Stuart Simon-trained daughter of Halo's Image will face, among others, Classy Zip, who has finished off-the-board only once in her 13-race career thus far, as well as Grade 2 heroine Roxy Gap.