A dozen fillies and mares 3 years old and up have been signed up for the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 8 going 6 1/2 furlongs.
My Option is a consistent 4-year-old who has finished in the money in 11 of 14 lifetime starts. Last year she won both the Pretty Jenny Stakes at Hawthorne Race Course and the Arlington Park Oaks (gr. III), and also ran third in the Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland Race Course. The filly, who likes to sit mid-pack before making her run, has run in a dozen stakes events in a row.
Ageless, a 5-year-old mare, began her winning streak with a score in the Giants Causeway Stakes at Keeneland last spring at 5 1/2 furlongs. She then took The Very One Stakes going five furlongs at Pimlico before equaling the track record of 1:07.39 at Woodbine for six furlongs in the Royal North Stakes (CAN-III). She has won five of her last seven starts and shows a 14-8-2-2 career slate.
Irish-bred Living The Life was a competitive sort racing at Wolverhampton and Lingfield in England. The 4-year-old made her U.S. debut a winning one when she took an allowance/optional claiming heat at Del Mar | BloodHorse.com Track Profile">Del Mar in early August going six furlongs.
Woodbine-based Northern Passion brings plenty of back class to the party, having won the Fury Stakes in 2012 and the Zadracarta Stakes last year, both at Woodbine. In July she took the Sweet Briar Too Stakes in her typical come-from-behind fashion before rolling to a third in the Ontario Matron and fourth in the Seaway Stakes, both Canadian grade III events. It has been a year and a half since she raced at under seven furlongs, so her move will need to be timed just right.
Master the Blues ships back to Presque Isle, having won her two most recent races there in June on the lead. Shipped to Del Mar, she finished fourth in an allowance/optional claimer before winning the Daisycutter Handicap in August by a neck. She could be very dangerous in a field otherwise devoid of speed.
Sushi Empire will make her first start outside California in the Masters. Her only victory came in the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita on New Year’s Day of this year, and she had finished mid-pack in a pair of graded one-mile events in her most recent starts. Disco Barbie is a perfect three-for-three at Presque Isle, each one by daylight. She was third, well back of My Option, in the Chicago Handicap but obviously loves the layout.
Youcan'tcatchme has displayed a stalking style this year but has lacked the punch she showed a year ago when she won a trio of stakes at Woodbine. She finished up the track in both the Seaway and Royal North this summer, and the 5-year-old needs to rediscover past form to be competitive here.
Presque Isle Downs, Monday, September 08, 2014, Race 6
PP Horse Jockey Weight Trainer 1 My Option (IL) UNKNOWN 123 Chris M. Block 2 Youcan'tcatchme (FL) Erick D. Rodriguez 112 Nick Joseph Caruso 3 Capella Dancer (NY) Daniel P. Vergara 112 Michael S. Ferraro 4 Northern Passion (ON) Patrick Husbands 118 Mark E. Casse 5 Disco Barbie (KY) Antonio A. Gallardo 112 Dale Capuano 6 Sushi Empire (KY) UNKNOWN 113 Tevis Q. McCauley 7 Living The Life (IRE) Mike E. Smith 121 Gary Mandella 8 Madame Cactus (KY) Joseph Talamo 112 Peter Eurton 9 Significant Bling (OH) Ricardo Feliciano 112 Timothy E. Hamm 10 Ageless (KY) Julien R. Leparoux 123 Arnaud Delacour 11 Master the Blues (KY) Kent J. Desormeaux 115 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 12 Cactus Kris (KY) Huber Villa-Gomez 110 Ryan D. Walsh