Fresh off her first graded stakes tally in the Whimsical (Can-III) at Woodbine in April, former claimer Purely Hot returns to the Polytrack in the $150,000 Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) May 24.
The 6-year-old daughter of Pure Prize, trained by Tevis McCauley for Unlimited Equine, faces seven older fillies and mares in the 6 1/2-furlong Hendrie, race 8 on the Saturday Woodbine card with a 4:39 p.m. EDT scheduled post.
Purely Hot dominated the Whimsical field by 3 1/2 lengths while sent off at generous odds of 13-2, closing into a hot pace (:22.38, :44.69) from third to win going away under jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse. She will have the mount once more on the 121-pound highweight and they break from post 6.
Maryland-bred Purely Hot has won 12 of 29 lifetime starts, just two of her races coming on the main track at Woodbine. She was fourth in the Dec. 1 Bessarabian Stakes (Can-II) behind Hendrie foe Part the Seas.
Part the Seas makes her seasonal debut for Bear Stables and trainer Michael De Paulo, her first start since upsetting the seven-furlong Bessarabian at odds of 14-1. The 5-year-old Stormy Atlantic mare won three of seven starts last year and has also been assigned 121 pounds for the Hendrie. Justin Stein has the call from post 5.
John Oxley's Spring in the Air, Canada's 2-year-old filly champion in 2012 for trainer Mark Casse, returns from a runner-up finish in the Whimsical, her first start since last September, as does third-place finisher Mekong Delta, a closer from the Michael Mattine barn.
Spring in the Air drew post 4 and will have Patrick Husbands back aboard, while Mekong Delta, who ran second in the Bessarabian in her prior start, has the rail with Gerry Olguin riding.
Illinois-bred My Option, winner of the Arlington Park Oaks (gr. III) last July on Polytrack, ships north for her first try at Woodbine off a close third in a restricted stakes at Hawthorne Racecourse April 19, her first start of the year. Chris Block trains the 4-year-old daughter of Belong to Me for owner Timothy Keeley.
Casse also sends Westbury Stable's Unhedged out for her first stakes appearance since the Broken Vow filly was claimed for $40,000 at Presque Isle Downs last September. Casse is seeking his third consecutive Hendrie win, following Roxy Gap in 2012 and Delightful Mary last year.
R.M.C. Stable's Aunt Els captured the Ontario Lassie as a 2-year-old in December 2012. Lightly raced since, she returned to action April 20 for trainer Nick Gonzalez with a head victory in an allowance/optional claiming race at Woodbine, where she has won four of seven starts.
Rounding out the field is Kitty Wine, making her stakes debut for Stone Farm and Joseph Sutton and trainer Eddie Kenneally. The 5-year-old Lemon Drop Kid mare scored a front-running 5 1/2-length romp in a first-level allowance at Keeneland April 25.
$150,000 Hendrie Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:39 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 6 1/2 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Mekong Delta (ON), G Olguin, 115, M Mattine
2. Kitty Wine (KY), E Wilson, 115, E Kenneally
3. Unhedged (FL), S Elliott, 115, M E Casse
4. Spring in the Air (ON), P Husbands, 119, M E Casse
5. Part the Seas (ON), J Stein, 121, M P De Paulo
6. Purely Hot (MD), C Sutherland Kruse, 121, T Q McCauley
7. Aunt Els (ON), D Moran, 117, N Gonzalez
8. My Option (IL), J M Campbell, 119, C M Block