Nipissing Attempts to Rebound in Wonder Where
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 8/1/2013 4:48:56 PM
Last Updated: 8/3/2013 1:21:39 PM

Nipissing makes her turf debut in the Wonder Where Stakes.
Photo: Michael Burns

Nipissing and Spring in the Air, two fillies that failed to make much impact facing males in the Queen's Plate one month ago, are back with their own sex in the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes Aug. 4 at Woodbine.

The final event of Canada's three-race stakes series for 3-year-old fillies attracted a field of eight Ontario-breds. At 1 1/4 miles on turf, it goes as the eighth race on the Sunday card with a 4:23 p.m. post.

Chiefswood Stable homebred Nipissing won the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser by three-quarters of a length over Spring in the Air, prompting trainer Rachel Halden to give the $1 million Queen's Plate a try. But after a slow start in the July 7 event at 1 1/4 miles on Polytrack, the daughter of Niigon was never a factor. She finished eighth at odds of 5-1, 20 lengths behind the victorious Midnight Aria.

Nipissing will be making her turf debut though she has recorded a work over Woodbine's turf training track, breezing four furlongs in :47 1/5 July 21. The bay filly breaks from post 4 with Steve Bahen aboard. Bahen has ridden Nipissing in all eight of her races, which include five wins and a second.

John Oxley's Spring in the Air fared better in the Queen's Plate, finishing an even fourth while beaten by nine lengths. The Mark Casse trainee, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly of 2012, has one victory and two seconds from five starts this year, taking the Fury Stakes May 4.

Casse scratched Spring in the Air from the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie July 30. In her only prior try on grass, the daughter of Spring At Last   was second in the Natalma Stakes (Can-IIT) over a yielding Woodbine course last September. Gary Boulanger has the return call from post 2.

Oxley's Bold Birdie, a filly by Birdstone   who was fourth in the Ontario Damsel July 14 on turf, was also entered by Casse. She is a separate betting interest.

Smartyfly, trained by Malcolm Pierce, comes off a game second in the Bison City Stakes, the second leg of the filly series, June 30 going 1 1/16 miles over Woodbine's Polytrack. Sam-Son Farms' daughter of Smart Strike   was fourth in the Woodbine Oaks prior to that and would be the only filly to run in all three races. She was off the board in her only prior turf appearance, an allowance race April 7 at Keeneland.

Eurico Rosa da Silva is aboard Smarty Fly and they will break from the rail post.

Pierce also entered outsider Tonight We Dance, who drew the far outside post in search of her first stakes win.

Surtsey posted a 41-1 upset in winning the one-mile Ontario Damsel for Yvonne Schwabe and trainer Kevin Attard. Her 2 1/4-length triumph came in the second start of the year for the Heatseeker   filly. Jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan retains the mount.

Last-out turf maiden winners As If I Care and Carmelita complete the field.

$250,000 Wonder Where Stakes (Race 8, 4:23 p.m.), Canadian-Foaled 3YO Fillies, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Smartyfly (ON), E R Da Silva, M Pierce
2. Spring in the Air (ON), G Boulanger, M E Casse
3. Bold Birdie (ON), L Contreras, M E Casse
4. Nipissing (ON), S R Bahen, R Halden
5. Surtsey (ON), J V Bridgmohan, K Attard
6. As If I Care (ON), E Wilson, A Brnjas
7. Carmelita (ON), J Stein, D J Vella
8. Tonight We Dance (ON), J M Campbell, M Pierce
All assigned 121 pounds.
 



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