Solid Appeal won the 2013 Nassau Stakes.

Solid Appeal won the 2013 Nassau Stakes.

Michael Burns

Solid Appeal Seeks Repeat Verdict in Nassau

Jim and Susan Hill's mare faces nine rivals in one-mile turf test at Woodbine May 25.

Solid Appeal returns to her favorite turf course to defend her title in the $200,000 Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) May 25 at Woodbine against a field that includes the mare that she lost to last time out, Sisterly Love.

In all, a group of 10 older fillies and mares are set for the one-mile Nassau, which is race 8 on the Sunday Woodbine program with a scheduled post time of 4:39 p.m. EDT. Also on the card is the $125,000 Marine Stakes for 3-year-olds on Woodbine's Polytrack at 1 1/16 miles. It is race 5 with an expected post of 3:05 p.m. EDT.

Jim and Susan Hill's Solid Appeal used last year's 1 1/2-length upset victory in the Nassau as a lead-in to a two-length triumph in the nine-furlong Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT). Those victories were the pinnacle of a 2103 campaign in which she won three of six starts.

After concluding the season with a third-place finish in the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs in November, trainer Reade Baker gave the daughter of Successful Appeal  a five-month break. The 5-year-old mare returned to action April 18, finishing mid-pack in the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) over Polytrack at Keeneland.

Gary Barber's 6-year-old mare Sisterly Love defeated Solid Appeal in the 1 1/16-mile Doubledogdare, winning the race by a neck over Moment in Dixie. Sisterly Love has won two straight this season for trainer Mark Casse, and has also enjoyed success at Woodbine, including a victory in last summer's Ontario Matron (Can-III). She'll be making her first start on turf Sunday.

Jesse Campbell, aboard for both of Solid Appeal's stakes wins last year, regains the mount for Baker from post 2, while  Sisterly Love breaks from gate 4 with Stewart Elliott back aboard. Solid Appeal carries top weight of 122 pounds, two more than Sisterly Love.

Casse sends out two others in search of his first win in the Nassau, Queen's Daughter and Northern Passion.

Queen's Daughter, a minor stakes winner in her native France, makes a first United States appearance with Patrick Husbands in the irons for Conquest Stables. The daughter of American Post races for the first time since last November at Fontainebleau.

John Oxley's Northern Passion, runner-up in the 2012 Woodbine Oaks-Presented by Budweiser, is a three-time stakes winner who finished third in a top-level allowance heat on the Keeneland turf April 13. It was the 5-year-old First Samurai  mare's first outing in 10 months.

Avie's Sense also returned from a 10-month layoff to wire an allowance field by 6 1/4 lengths at Woodbine going seven furlongs April 19 for trainer Josie Carroll. Ivan Dalos' lightly raced 5-year-old daughter of Street Sense  figures to have the lead to herself in her first stakes try since finishing second in the Rachel Alexandra (gr. III) in February 2012. This will be her turf debut.

Sam-Son Farm's Ontario homebred Deceptive Vision makes her stakes bow for trainer Malcolm Pierce off three consecutive victories at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the most recent coming against allowance company on good turf at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 22, her first start since a Fair Grounds triumph Feb. 22, 2013. The 4-year-old filly is a daughter of A.P. Indy.

Surtsey, 41-1 upset winner of the Ontario Damsel last summer for trainer Kevin Attard, makes her first start since finishing third in the Wonder Where Stakes Aug. 4.

Meri Shika is attempting to find her best form for trainer Roger Attfield since transferring last summer from her native France, where she was group-placed. Savvy Hester and Why Katherine, second and third in the Powder Break Stakes at Gulfstream Park April 5, complete the field.

Supermonic, third in the Coolmore Lexington (gr. III) in his initial stakes try April 19 at Keeneland, ships in from New York for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Marine. Other well-regarded sophomores in the field of 10 include Asserting Bear, Ami's Holiday , and Matador.

$200,000 Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT, Race 8, 4:39 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Savvy Hester (KY), J Stein, 116, R Griffith
2. Solid Appeal (KY), J M Campbell, 122, R Baker
3. Surtsey (ON), G Olguin, 118, K Attard
4. Sisterly Love (KY), S Elliott, 120, M E Casse
5. Deceptive Vision (ON), S Bridgmohan, 116, M Pierce
6. Avie's Sense (KY), L Contreras, 116, J Carroll
7. Queen's Daughter (FR), P Husbands, 116, M E Casse
8. Northern Passion (ON), G Boulanger, 116, M E Casse
9. Why Katherine (ON), C Sutherland-Kruse, 116, K Attard
10. Meri Shika (FR), E R Da Silva, 116, R L Attfield