Healthy Again, Nashinda Invincible in Hendrie

(from Woodbine report)
Jockey David Clark and Nashinda, who teamed up to take the six-furlong Whimsical Stakes on April 15 at Woodbine, were unbeatable again, this time in Sunday's $211,900 Hendrie Handicap (Can-III) for older fillies and mares going 6 1/2 furlongs at the Toronto oval.

The duo seized control at the outset and drew off down the lane to beat two-time Sovereign Award champ One for Rose by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:16.49 on a track listed as good.

After a quick break from the gate, Nashinda glided to the lead, cutting a quarter-mile clip in :22.92 and a half in :45.61.

By the time the seven-horse field turned for home, it was game over.

Clark, who geared Nashinda down before the wire, was quick to downplay his role in the dark bay's fifth win from seven lifetime starts.

"She's tremendous," said Clark of the Augustin Stable star. "My job was to slow her down the first quarter and then she just dragged me the rest of the way. If someone would have come to her, she would have kicked on again."

Hall of Fame conditioner Mac Benson was also impressed.

"If we can keep her sound, Lord only knows what kind of filly she is," said Benson, of his hard-luck Ontario-bred who was limited to just three starts in 2004 due to injury. "I had her half-fit the first time (Whimsical) and this time I had her fit. If she improved, which I knew she would off her first race, I thought she'd be even more formidable today."

The key to more wins, suggested Benson, is keeping Nashinda in her current physical condition.

"We just hope and pray she stays sound enough so that we can keep her going the whole season."

Nashinda picked up the winner's pot of $128,460, to push her career earnings to $474,832.

Nashinda paid $3.80, $2.30 and $2.10 across the board. One For Rose ($3.80, $2.30) rallied for second by a nose, while a game Silver Bird ($2.30) was third.

(Chart, Equibase)