Holy Bubbette made her first trip to Woodbine a winning one, capturing the $136,000 Whimsical Stakes for older fillies and mares on Sunday. The David Fawkes filly, who came to the Toronto oval fresh off a March triumph at Gulfstream, seized early control of the six-furlong feature and stayed strong in the stretch to win by 2 ¾ lengths. The time of the race was 1:10.37 over a main track rated "muddy."It was an impressive score for the gray, sent off as the favorite in the six-horse event. Brass In Pocket, who took last year's Whimsical, was scratched."This makes our job so much easier when you have a horse like this," said winning rider Joe Bravo, who was also aboard the 4-year-old in last month's Florida score. "There was a little question on how she was going to handle the off track today, but David had her ready to run." The daughter of Holy Bull broke sharply in the one-turn event, taking command early and leading her rivals through an opening quarter-mile of :22.97 and a half in :46.13.With a confident Bravo at the controls, the Kentucky-bred was full of run late, crossing the wire well in front of multiple-stakes winner and 2003 Sovereign finalist Winter Garden. "I was pretty confident going into the race today, but there were some very nice horses in this race," Bravo said.Fawkes, who conditions the lifetime winner of six races from 12 starts for owner Katherine Elam, was equally impressed with the effort.
"She did it awful easy and Joe kept her on the best part of the track," said Fawkes, who is looking at Woodbine's $150,000-added George C. Hendrie Stakes on May 16 as Holy Bubbette's next start. "The filly was hardly blowing when she came back to the winner's circle."Holy Bubbette returned $4.20, $2.80, $2.30, combining with Winter Garden ($2.70, $2.60) for a $10 exacta. Mille Feville ($5.20) completed the $51.70 trifecta.(Chart, Equibase)