Indian Apple Is launches her 5-year-old campaign in the Whimsical Stakes.

Indian Apple Is launches her 5-year-old campaign in the Whimsical Stakes.

Michael Burns

Sovereign Winner Indian Apple Is Starts Year

Canada's top female sprinter in 2010 faces five challengers in Woodbine's Whimsical.

Indian Apple Is, Canada's 2010 Sovereign Award-winning female sprinter, launches her 5-year-old campaign against five rivals in the $150,000 Whimsical Stakes (Can-III) April 23 at Woodbine.

All six older fillies and mares in the six-furlong Polytrack test are making their first starts of the 2011 season. The Whimsical is the eighth race on the program at the Toronto-area track, and is scheduled to go at 4:35 p.m. EDT.

Indian Apple Is enjoyed a stellar campaign for her owner/breeder Frank Di Giulio Jr, trainer Robert Tiller, and jockey Luis Contreras.

The dark bay 5-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie won three of seven starts last year, including the Sweet Briar Too and Ontario Fashion Stakes.

“She’s very honest, a really classy filly,” said Tiller of Indian Apple Is, who has seven wins and 13 top three finishes from 16 starts with earnings of $511,956. “We’ll put her in and see what happens. She’s certainly in good order.”

The Whimsical distance should be ideal for Indian Apple Is. She has two wins, two seconds and one third from five tries at six furlongs, including her half-length tally in the Ontario Fashion.

This is her first start since her worst race of the year, an eighth-place finish in the seven-furlong Bessarabian Stakes Nov. 21.

“She got boxed in on the fence and she didn’t like that,” said Tiller. “She doesn’t like the rail, but she’s a fighter and she always shows up.”

Her opposition in the Whimsical includes the winner of the Bessarabian, Ariana D, as well as third-place finisher Hooh Why.

Ariana D, a 5-year-old daughter of Rock Slide trained by Laurie Silvera for William B. Thompson Jr., won the Bessarabian in her Woodbine debut by a neck at odds of 18-1 to conclude her 2010 season with back-to-back victories. The Pennsylvania-bred mare has won seven of 17 races in her career while banking $317,780.

Hooh Why, a quick 5-year-old daughter of Cloud Hopping, led the Bessarabian in the stretch but could not hold on and finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Ariana D. Hooh Why won the Seaway Stakes (gr. III) last year at Woodbine, where has three wins and seven in-the-money performances in nine tries.

Waccamaw, a stakes winner at Turfway Park in her last race Dec. 4, and Wildcat Marie,  who has taken five of her past six races at Woodbine and is making her stakes debut, should guarantee a lively pace. Shukriya ran third in the Ontario Fashion in her last start.

$150,000 Whimsical Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:35 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 6 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Wildcat Marie (FL), T Pizarro, 115, M Drexler
2. Waccamaw (KY), P Husbands, 115, R M Gorham
3. Indian Apple Is (ON), L Contreras, 121, R P Tiller
4. Ariana D (PA), O Moreno, 119, L Silvera
5. Shukriya (KY), E Ramsammy, 115. M Mattine
6. Hooh Why (FL), E Wilson, 119, M Hoffman