Tribal Belle, Canada's champion female sprinter of 2009, kicks off her season at Woodbine facing a strong field in the $150,000 Whimsical Stakes (Can-III) April 18.
Also included among the seven older fillies and mares in the six-furlong Polytrack event are the defending Whimsical champion Dancing Allstar, last season's Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT) winner Glitter Rox, and stakes winners Silver Z, Authenicat and Proud Heiress.
The Whimsical, Woodbine's first graded stakes of the season, is the eighth race on the program with a probable post time of 4:42 p.m. EDT.
Canvasback Farm's British Columbia homebred Tribal Belle won last year's Seaway Stakes (Can-III) during a season in which she captured five of six starts to be voted Canada's inaugural Sovereign Award as the nation's top female sprinter. She carries top weight of 123 pounds in the Whimsical.
The 5-year-old daughter of Tribunal makes her first start for trainer Danny O'Callaghan. Tribal Belle won her last four starts for prior conditioner Terry Jordan--the last three in stakes company--concluding the 2009 campaign with a half-length triumph over Silver Z in the seven-furlong Bessarabian Stakes at Woodbine Nov. 22.
Tribal Belle, who breaks from post 6 with Jim McAleney aboard, has won 10 of 15 lifetime starts and earned $467,876.
O'Callaghan also saddles Bahadur Cheema's Dancing Allstar, who previously raced for Jordan as well. Now 5, she was voted Canada's champion 2-year-old filly in 2007. In last year's Whimsical, she dictated the pace en route to a 1 3/4-length win timed in 1:09.16.
Also bred in British Columbia, the front-running daughter of Millennium Allstar has not raced since last Aug. 1, when she finished last of five in the Royal North. An eight-time stakes winner in Canada, Dancing Allstar boasts a career mark of 9-3-1 in 17 starts while banking $516,822. Patrick Husbands takes over the mount.
Glitter Rox, a 6-year-old daughter of Glitterman, also makes her seasonal bow for trainer Ian Black. Glitter Rox lost her last five races in 2009, including three runner-up finishes, after claiming the Royal North on a firm turf. Regular rider Gerry Olguin returns.
Late-running Proud Heiress, who drew the rail for trainer Wayne Mogge, is the only starter in the field to have raced in 2010. The 6-year-old Broken Vow mare won the Wishing Well Stakes as the favorite over the Polytrack at Turfway Park in January before losing by a nose in Turfway's Queen Stakes March 27. She finished third in the Whimsical last year.
California-bred Silver Z began her career in Southern California, where she won a stakes at Hollywood Park restricted to state breds, before transferring to trainer Nathan Wallis in the fall. The 8-year-old daughter of Cee's Tizzy set the pace in the Bessarabian and fought gamely at 37-1 odds before giving way to Tribal Belle.
The Josie Carroll-trained Authenicat won Woodbine's Ballade Stakes last June but the 5-year-old D'wildcat mare lost five consecutive races after that. She closed her 2009 campaign with a fifth-place showing in the Bessarabian.
She's the Umpire, 3-for-23 in her career, completes the field.
$150,000 Whimsical Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:42 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Proud Heiress (KY), R A Prescott, 114, W D Mogge
2. Authenicat (ON), R C Landry, 118, J Carroll
3. Glitter Rox (ON), G Olguin, 118, I Black
4. Silver Z (CA), O Moreno, 114, N Wallis
5. Dancing Allstar (BC), P Husbands, 118, D M O'Callaghan
6. Tribal Belle (BC), J McAleney, 123, D M O'Callaghan
7. She's the Umpire (FL), J Stein, 114, A R Katryan
Blinkers On: She's the Umpire