Ten 2-year-old Canadian-foaled fillies will try to burnish their credentials in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes Oct. 28 at Woodbine, an important steppingstone to next year's north-of-the-border classics.
Woodbine's most important race for 2-year-old fillies is contested at 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack. It is the eighth on the Sunday program with a 4:49 p.m. EDT scheduled post.
There is only one stakes winner in the field, Crysta's Court. She produced a 44-1 shocker in Woodbine's Victoria Queen for Canadian-bred fillies at six furlongs Sept. 29.
Trained by Justin Nixon for JMC's Racing Stable, the daughter of Japanese sire Silent Name broke her maiden in the Victoria Queen, her fourth lifetime start. She'll break from post 8 in her first try around two turns and is to be ridden by Christopher Griffith.
With her high-profile connections, Sam-Son Farms' homebred Smartyfly will get plenty of attention in her second start for trainer Malcolm Pierce. The daughter of Smart Strike missed by a nose in her debut, a seven-furlong off-the-turf contest Sept 7 in which she finished one length clear of third-place Crysta's Court. Eurico Da Silva has the mount on Smartyfly, who will wear blinkers for the first time but drew the disadvantageous far outside post.
Sam-Son Farms has won the Princess Elizabeth a record six times, most recently in 2006 with Catch the Thrill.
Earle I. Mack's Nahima makes her North American debut for leading Woodbine trainer Mark Casse, who won his only Princess Elizabeth in 2008 with Retraceable. A daughter of Tomahawk, Nahima broke her maiden in her second try over the all-weather surface at France's Deauville Aug. 27, her most recent start. Patrick Husbands will guide Nahima, racing with Lasix for the first time, from post 3.
Strut the Course, trained by Barbara Minshall for owner/breeder John Unger, ran third in the Victoria Queen after a six-length maiden romp in her second start Sept. 8. The Strut the Stage filly is stuck on the rail with Tyler Pizarro taking over the riding duties.
Chiefswood Stable's homebred Nipissing is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Rachel Halden and tries stakes company for the first time. In her most recent start Sept. 28, the daughter of 2004 Queen's Plate winner Niigon defeated a first-level allowance field by 2 1/4 lengths. She handled maidens by three lengths in her debut a month earlier. Both victories came at seven furlongs. Steve Bahen has the mount on Nipissing, who races without Lasix.
Tiz Ro, a Hard Spun lass trained by Greg de Gannes for Raroma Stable, switches to Polytrack. The bay filly is coming off an eighth-place finish in the one-mile Natalma Stakes (Can-IIT) on yielding turf in her second start Sept. 15. She broke her maiden at first asking July 27 by 5 1/2 lengths in an off-the-turf maiden special weight event at six furlongs.
$250,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Race 8, 4:49 p.m.), 2YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Strut the Course (ON), T Pizarro, 119, B J Minshall
2. Tiz Ro (ON), L Contreras, G de Gannes
3. Nahima (ON), P Husbands, M E Casse
4. Anfield Park (ON), O Moreno, S Owens
5. Evangeline's Hope (ON), J Stein, M J Doyle
6. Chelsea Road (ON), J V Bridgmohan, M J Trombetta
7. Cabo Queen (BC), E Wilson, S C Simon
8. Crysta's Court (ON), C Griffith, J J Nixon
9. Nipissing (ON), S R Bahen, R Halden
10. Smartyfly (ON), E R Da Silva, M Pierce
All carry 119 pounds.
Blinkers Off: Anfield Park; Blinkers On: Smartyfly