Tribal Belle, Canada's champion female sprinter of 2009, returns to defend her title against just four rivals in the Seaway Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine Sept. 4.
The field for the seven-furlong Polytrack test for fillies and mares includes Indian Apple Is, who upset Tribal Belle in the Sweet Briar Two Stakes July 1 at the Seaway distance over the track.
The Seaway at 2:26 p.m. EDT is the fourth race on the Woodbine program.
Canvasback Farm's British Columbia homebred Tribal Belle won last year's Seaway Stakes for trainer Terry Jordan by a neck 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. The 5-year-old Tribunal mare shares top weight of 119 pounds with Indian Apple Is.
So far in 2010, Tribal Belle has a win and two seconds in three starts, including a victory in the Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine May 16. Regular rider Jim McAleney will be aboard once more in the Seaway. Tribal Belle has won 11 of 18 races in her career while earning $648,580.
In her last start in the Sweet Briar Two, Tribal Belle pressed the pace to get the lead in the stretch as the 1-2 favorite. She was clear in mid-stretch but could not hold on against Indian Apple Is, who prevailed by three-quarters of a length.
Indian Apple Is, a 4-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie, posted her second stakes win in that race for owner/breeder Frank Di Giulio Jr. and trainer Robert Tiller. She will be teamed once again with Chantal Sutherland, who has ridden the dark bay filly to victory in three of four races.
Mother Russia tries a synthetic track for the first time following a runner-up finish to Unzip Me in the Royal North Stakes (Can-IIT) over the Woodbine turf Aug. 2. Owned by Obviously NY Stable and trained by Linda Rice, the 4-year-old New York-bred Mayakovsky filly has won seven of 13 starts lifetime, mostly against state-bred competition, and earned $506,248.
Melnyk Racing Stables' homebred Carem Crescent tries blinkers after a rough go in the Regret Stakes at Monmouth Park Aug. 1 when she was a distant last-place finisher. The 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor is much more at home on the Woodbine Polytrack, where she won four of five starts for trainer Malcolm Pierce in 2009. She seeks her first win in four starts so far this season, her best showing coming in a third-place showing behind Tribal Belle in the Hendrie.
Hooh Why, winner of the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) last year, was second in the one-mile Windward Stakes at Presque Isle Downs & Casino when she finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Informed Decision July 27.
$150,000 Seaway Stakes (gr. III, Race 4, 2:26 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hooh Why (FL), E Ramsammy, 117, D C MacRae
2. Tribal Belle (BC), J McAleney, 119, T Jordan
3. Indian Apple Is (ON), C Sutherland, 119, R P Tiller
4. Mother Russia (NY), M J Luzzi, 117, L Rice
5. Carem Crescent (ON), E R Da Silva, 117, M Pierce
Blinkers On: Carem Crescent