Jockey Jesse Campbell guides Caren to victory in the Carotene Stakes at Woodbine

Jockey Jesse Campbell guides Caren to victory in the Carotene Stakes at Woodbine

Michael Burns

Caren to Make Seasonal Debut in Whimsical

Canadian Horse of the Year notched four wins from nine starts last season.

Robert Marzilli's Caren, recently honored as Canada's Horse of the Year, will make her return to the races in the $125,000 Whimsical Stakes (G3) at Woodbine April 23.

Trained by Mike DePaulo, Caren notched four wins from nine starts last season, scooping two-thirds of the Canadian Triple Tiara with scores in the Bison City and Wonder Where Stakes. The 4-year-old daughter of Society's Chairman  also added wins in the Ontario Colleen (G3) and Carotene Stakes before closing out her season with an 11th-place finish in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs

Caren will travel six furlongs in the Tapeta sprint for older fillies and mares but the versatile filly, who sports wins from 4 1/2-furlongs to 1 1/4 miles, was a stakes winner as a juvenile at both six furlongs (Victorian Queen) and 5 1/2-furlongs (Shady Well Stakes).

"It's a starting point for her. She's not an easy horse to train and it's time to get her in the mix and get her going," DePaulo said. "We expect her to run well and I don't see any reason why she won't be competitive. She will have to carry a lot of weight (124 pounds) but that's the way it is because she's won a lot of stakes."

Caren trained over the winter at Gulfstream Park and breezed three times locally in preparation for the Whimsical, which features an all-star cast that includes Canada's champion female sprinter in River Maid as well as graded stakes winners Southern Ring and Skylander Girl.

"She's good and fresh. Hopefully we haven't knocked the speed out of her by running her long in all those races. Who knows, maybe we'll see her come from off the pace this time," DePaulo offered. "I've never trained her to go to the lead, that's just what happens. We've worked her behind horses so it's in her repertoire."

DePaulo was proud to see Caren honored as Canada's Horse of the Year as well as champion 3-year-old filly.

"She was deserving of it and we're so happy that she was recognized," DePaulo said. "At 2, it was disappointing for her to have run six times and win five and then not get the Sovereign. Unfortunately, the horse that beat us (Catch a Glimpse in the grade 2 Natalma Stakes) won at the Breeders' Cup and was named Horse of the Year."

Entries: Whimsical S. (G3)

Woodbine, Sunday, April 23, 2017, Race 7

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • All Weather Track
  • $125,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 4:19 PM (local)
11Galina Point (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateGary Boulanger117Mark E. Casse6/1
22Euroboss (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Contreras117Michael Stidham10/1
33Secretariat Humor (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAlan Garcia117Roger L. Attfield12/1
44Crumlin Spirit (ON)David Moran119Michael J. Doyle20/1
55Caren (ON)Jesse M. Campbell124Michael P. De Paulo4/1
66Southern Ring (ON)Eurico Rosa Da Silva119Malcolm Pierce3/1
77Skylander Girl (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Manuel Hernandez117Alexander P. Patykewich8/1
88River Maid (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduatePatrick Husbands121Robert P. Tiller2/1