Marketing Mix, winner of five of seven starts since trainer Tom Proctor switched her to the turf one year ago, heads the field for the $300,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT) July 8 at Woodbine.
Glen Hill Farm's 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro handled soft ground in her last try, driving clear in the final furlong for a 1 1/4-length verdict in Woodbine's Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) at one mile June 2. She'll be asked to go a little father this time in the nine-furlong Dance Smartly but she has proven successful at longer distances before. She captured the Wonder Where Stakes at 1 1/4 miles in her turf debut, as well as the 1 1/8-mile Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park last September.
Marketing Mix meets a tough field in the Dance Smartly, which drew seven older fillies and mares. Among her opponents are Inglorious, Canada's champion 3-year-old filly last year after taking the Queen's Plate, and Kissable, a group I-placed filly from Ireland making her North American debut for trainer Roger Attfield.
But the Ontario-bred Marketing Mix, to be ridden from the far outside post by Julien Leparoux while carrying top weight of 122 pounds, appears to be at the top of her game. The dark bay filly began the year with an allowance victory at Keeneland in April, then was compromised by traffic issues when finishing fourth in the Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs May 5. She rebounding nicely to win the Nassau in fine style as the even-money choice.
Besides winning the Wonder Where and Pucker Up last year, Marketing Mix also captured the Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) at Churchill and was second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
Two others come out of the Nassu: game, third-place finisher Indian Pond and Inglorious, who gave way in the final furlong and was fourth.
Melnyk Racing Stable's Indian Pond was making her seasonal debut in the Nassau, which she lost by 1 3/4 lengths at 21-1 odds. The 4-year-old daughter of Speightstown , trained by leading conditioner Mark Casse, won a pair of Woodbine sprints on the lawn last year. Eurico Da Silva retains the mount.
Donver Stable's Inglorious has raced twice this year, both on the grass for trainer Josie Carroll, and was beaten by Marketing Mix each time. The daughter of Hennessy has dropped four in a row since her smashing Queen's Plate triumph a little more than a year ago. Patrick Husbands will ride Inglorious for the first time, replacing Luis Contreras.
Irish-bred Kissable, owned by Three Chimneys Racing, had just a maiden win from nine starts in her native country. The 4-year-old Danehill Dancer filly ran third in the Moyglare Stud (Ire-I) in her fourth lifetime start in August 2010, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Misty For Me. She has had one start this year, finishing fourth while toting 137 pounds in a group III event at the Curragh March 25. She carries 116 pounds in the Dance Smartly.
Kissable began training in May at Keeneland before shipping to Woodbine for Attfield. In her most recent drill, the bay filly breezed six furlongs on turf in 1:12 3/5 June 29. Kissable will race without Lasix.
Moment of Majesty, trained by Sue Leslie, came from off the pace to score a 16-1 upset in Woodbine's Zadracarta Stakes at seven furlongs June 16. Lode Lady makes her stakes debut after a 3 1/2-length romp in a second-level allowance at one mile June 10 for trainer Reade Baker.
$300,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT, Race 8, 4:49 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Indian Pond (ON), E R Da Silva, 118, M E Casse
2. Inglorious (ON), P Husbands, 118, J Carroll
3. Lode Lady (ON), J McAleney, 116, R Baker
4. Kissable (IRE), A O Solis, 116, R L Attfield
5. Moonlit Beauty (ON), T Pizarro, 116, J P LeBlanc Jr.
6. Moment of Majesty (ON), G Olguin, 116, S Leslie
7. Marketing Mix (ON), J R Leparoux, 122, T F Proctor