Simply Splendid remained perfect in two starts on the turf this season, courageously holding off Miss Keller in the final yards to win the $300,400 Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) (VIDEO) by a half-length June 5 at Woodbine.
The 5-year-old daughter of Maria’s Mon captured her first graded stakes under Chantal Sutherland, who rode the winner for trainer Gail Casselman-Cox. The final time for one mile on the good going was 1:34.23.
Simply Splendid, who scored an allowance race at Woodbine May 16 in her season debut, sat behind pacesetter Points of Grace until taking over approaching the eighth-pole. The opening fractions were :24.36, :47.16, and 1:10.13.
Simply Splendid held a one-length lead with a furlong remaining, but her biggest threat would come from Miss Keller, who was charging from the outside with Eurico Rosa Da Silva in the irons. It looked as though Miss Keller would reel in the leader inside the sixteenth-pole, but Simply Splendid found more in the final yards to hold on.
Rainbow View, the even-money favorite, settled for third in a field of six.
Simply Splendid’s other stakes win came last summer on the Woodbine Polytrack in the Sweet Briar Too Stakes. A runner-up in the grade III Seaway Stakes as a 4-year-old, she improved to 6-2-2 from 12 starts and earnings of $433,811.
Cox also co-owns the winner along with John Menary. Bred in Kentucky by Dixiana Stables, she is out of the Hennessy mare Lears and Limos.
Simply Splendid paid $15.80, $7.50, and $2.60. Th exacta (7-2) returned $82.70 and the trifecta (7-2-6) paid $170.90.