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My Conquestadory
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Mathea Kelley

My Conquestadory, Cool Faith Clash in Selene

Paladin Bay also one of four sophomore fillies entered for 1 1/16-mile Woodbine test.

My Conquestadory, a grade I winner on Polytrack last year, makes her 2014 debut in the $150,000 Selene Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine. She will face just three other sophomore fillies in the 1 1/16-mile test.

Trained by Mark Casse for Conquest Stables, the Artie Schiller miss was fourth in her most recent start, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.

A month prior to that, My Conquestadory won the Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland over 11 others as the favorite by nearly two lengths. The filly exploded on the local racing scene last September when she debuted with a smashing performance in the Summer Stakes (Can-II) on turf, easily beating male rivals by more than three lengths.

My Conquestadory will face a couple of tough opponents in Sunday's Selene, which had 18 nominations. The race is the eighth on the card with a 4:44 p.m. EDT scheduled post.

Chiefswood Stables' Ontario-bred Cool Faith will use the Selene as her prep for the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, on June 15, the premier event in Canada for Canadian-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

Trained by Paul Attard, the homebred daughter of Pulpit debuted on turf against males last September at Woodbine as well, and prevailed by one length in a maiden event. Three weeks later, she tried the boys again in the $250,000 Cup and Saucer, again over the grass. She just missed after a long stretch duel with Matador, dropping a nose decision on yielding ground.

Cool Faith spent the winner in Florida, where she was out of the money in a pair of turf starts at Gulfstream Park before shipping to Keeneland for an April 11 first-level allowance tilt on Polytrack. The bay filly upset the field at odds of 7-1, scoring by 1 1/2 lengths.

"She's all class and she's very good," said Attard. "She had a horrendous trip at Gulfstream first time out (finishing eighth in the Ginger Brew), got some mucus after her second start, and then had a real good effort at Keeneland.

"She's been training quite well over (Woodbine's Polytrack)," he added. "We're happy with her. She seems very versatile, can run on any surface."

The last filly to win the Selene and the Oaks was Harlequin Ranches' Gold Strike in 2005.  The 2012 Selene winner Dixie Strike went into the Oaks as the odds-on choice but finished fifth to Irish Mission.

Paladin Bay is another Ontario-bred that seems likely destined for the Woodbine Oaks if all goes well. She won a pair of important stakes for Canadian-bred fillies at 2, the Princess Elizabeth and Ontario Lassie. The consistent daughter of Sligo Bay, trained by Harold Ladouceur for his wife, Jessie, ran second in her seasonal bow April 19 in the listed Star Shoot Stakes.

Completing the field is Tucci Stables' Midnight Bliss, a $35,000 claim as a maiden in Florida this winter by trainer Nick Gonzalez. The Midnight Lute  filly could have the fitness edge with four starts this season. She was most recently second in a first-level allowance at seven furlongs April 19 at Woodbine.

$150,000 Selene Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:44 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Cool Faith (ON), J M Campbell, 117, P Attard
2. Paladin Bay (ON), G Olguin, 121, H Ladouceur
3. Midnight Bliss (KY), L Contreras, 117, N Gonzalez
4. My Conquestadory (KY), E R Da Silva, 121, M E Casse