Inglorious, winner of last year’s Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate, returns to the Toronto oval for her second start of the season in the $300,000 Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) over the turf June 2.
The one-mile event will be the Donver Stable filly's first start at Woodbine since a third-place finish in her final race of 2011 in the Selene Stakes (Can-III) Sept. 25.
Trained by Josie Carroll, Inglorious was named Canada's outstanding 3-year-old filly of 2011 and was runner-up for Horse of the Year honors.
She made her turf debut in her first start as a 4-year-old in a one-mile allowance race at Keeneland April 11. She finished second by 1 1/4 lengths to Marketing Mix, who was third to Inglorious in last year’s Woodbine Oaks.
The two will meet again in the Nassau, lining up beside each other in the gate, Inglorious with post 6, Marketing Mix in post 7. Inglorious will carry 118 pounds, four fewer than the top-weighted Marketing Mix.
In all, seven fillies and mares are entered in the Nassau, which goes as race eight on Saturday's card with a 4:49 p.m. EDT post.
Luis Contreras, who has been aboard the Ontario-bred Inglorious in her past six starts, is expecting another strong effort from the lifetime winner of five races in 10 starts.
“She is the type of horse you dream of riding,” said Contreras, who first teamed with the daughter of Hennessy in winning the La Lorgnette Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the Woodbine Polytrack last May. “She always tries, always gives you everything she has. She’s special.”
Last year, Inglorious won three races, along with one second and a third, for $1,129,705 in purse earnings.
She became the 34th filly to win the Queen's Plate, earning a 2 ½-length score in the 1 ¼-mile Canadian classic, since 1860. She is the fifth to win both the Oaks and the Plate, joining Flaming Page (1962), La Lorgnette (1985), Dance Smartly (1991) and Dancethruthedawn (2001).
Last year, Contreras teamed with the recently retired Bay to Bay to take the 56th running of the Nassau.
Marketing Mix followed her allowance win with a fourth-place finish as the favorite in the Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 5.
Trained by Tom Proctor for Glen Hill Farm, the 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro had won four of her previous five starts. The streak included a victory in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) at Churchill in November and a second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland in October.
Also in the Nassau lineup is the red-hot Roxy Gap, convincing 2 1/2-length winner of the Hendrie Stakes (gr. II) May 19 over Woodbine's Polytrack. Eugene Melnyk's homebred captured the Whimsical (Can-III) a month earlier over the same surface for trainer Mark Casse. The only win in three starts on grass for the 4-year-old Indian Charlie filly came in an allowance romp in August 2010.
Melnyk and Casse also entered stakes winner Indian Pond, making her first start since finishing third in the Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine Nov. 5.
$300,000 Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT, Race 8, 4:49 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 MIle (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Forest Uproar (ON), T Kabel, 116, M Pierce
2. Fantastic Cousin (KY), G Olguin, 116, R Baker
3. Indian Pond (ON), P Husbands, 118, M E Casse
4. Skylara (KY), T Pizarro, 116, R L Attfield
5. Roxy Gap (ON), P Husbands, 116, M E Casse
6. Inglorious (ON), L Contreras, 118, J Carroll
7. Marketing Mix (ON), J R Leparoux, 122, T F Proctor