Trained by Roger Attfield for owner Harlequin Ranches, Callwood Dancer held on desperately in the May 31 Nassau for a nose victory over Quiet Jungle, who also runs in the Dance Smartly. The 1 1/8-mile turf event drew seven fillies and mares, including five that ran in the Nassau.
Callwood Dancer is a 4-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer bred in Ireland. All five of her lifetime wins have come at Woodbine, four of them on the turf. The chestnut filly brings back-to-back wins into the Dance Smartly after also defeating an allowance field -- on Polytrack -- at 1 1/16 miles May 9.
Regular rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva is once again aboard Callwood Dancer, who breaks from the rail while carrying top weight of 121 pounds. She is on the sour end of a seven-pound weight swing with Quiet Jungle, who was assigned 113 for the Dance Smartly and will be breaking from the far outside under new jockey Emile Ramsammy.
Callwood Dancer was sent off at odds of 9-1 in the Nassau, but after establishing control of the pace, she proved difficult to catch while hugging the rail through the home stretch. The past two Canadian horse of the year champions, Arravale and Sealy Hill, both took their shots but could not get by. Callwood Dancer had just enough left to nose Quiet Jungle at the wire in an ultra-game effort. Sealy Hill wound up third. The final time for the 1 1/16-mile distance was 1:40.46 on a firm course.
The victory was Callwood Dancer's first in a stakes and boosted her lifetime earnings to $394,709 in 14 starts.
Quiet Jungle, a 4-year-old Forest Wildcatfilly trained by Mark Frostad for owner/breeder Sam-Son Farms, has has two starts in 2008, finishing second in both the the Nassau and a Keeneland allowance heat by a head on the turf. She rallied gamely while slightly wide for jockey Robert Landry in the Nassau, her fourth consecutive defeat since an allowance win on the Woodbine Polytrack in May 2007. She is seeking her first stakes win.
The Niagara Queen, Tell It as It Is and Sans Souci Island also ran in the Nassau.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, The Niagara Queen has not been out since finishing sixth in the Nassau after prompting the pace and tiring in the lane. The 5-year-old Langfuhr mare is owned by Elite Racing Company.
Tell It as It is, 10th in the Nassau, and Sans Souci Island, who finished ninth that day, returned to run one-two in the 1 1/16-mile Tattling June 18. Tell It as It Is ran away in the stretch for a 3 1/4-length win over yielding ground to claim her first stakes win for trainer James Smith. Both Tell It as It is and Sans Souci Island, who is trained by Attfield, are 4-year-old daughters of Chester House.
Sprung and May NIght complete the field.
$300,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-II, Race 6, 3:35 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Callwood Dancer (IRE), 121, Eurico Rosa Da Silva
2. Sans Souci Island (ON), 117, Chantal Sutherland
3. Sprung (KY), 113, Patrick Husbands
4. The Niagara Queen (ON), 115, James McAleney
5. Tell It as It Is (KY), 115, Emma-Jayne Wilson
6. May Night (FL), 113, Robert C. Landry
7. Quiet Jungle (ON), 113, Emile Ramsammy