07/01/2016 10:50AM

Lady Shipman will take on the boys in Highlander Stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The brilliant turf sprinter Lady Shipman will take on four geldings and two colts Sunday at Woodbine in the Grade 2, $200,000 Highlander Stakes.

A 4-year-old trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Lady Shipman notched seven of 10 starts in 2015. She capped that lucrative campaign with a neck loss against the boys in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland.

Lady Shipman is unbeaten in three American stakes appearances against her own sex this year, including a decisive score at Belmont traveling the six-furlong Highlander distance. The lone blemish on her recent record was a slow-starting seventh-place finish in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint going a straight five furlongs in Dubai.

Joel Rosario starts from post 1 aboard Lady Shipman, the even-money morning-line favorite.

Carded as race 4, the Highlander will launch the early pick four on the fabulous Queen’s Plate card.


Lady Shipman, by Midshipman

Last 3 Beyers: 99-106-103

◗ A filly or mare hasn’t won the Highlander since it was moved to the grass in 2004, but Katie’s Eyes finished a close second last year.

Passion for Action, by Speightstown

Last 3 Beyers: 92-103-97

◗ He was the leading local sprinter during the spring. After winning the Jacques Cartier Stakes and Grade 3 Vigil Stakes on the Tapeta, the closer was beaten a half-length by longshot Dimension in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup on the grass June 5.

“He’s had a real good start to the year,” trainer Mike De Paulo said. “We’re hoping that he’s better on grass than he is on [synthetics]. That’s the way he was before, but he’s a year older and more mature. I guess we’ll find out.”

Something Extra, by Indian Charlie

Last 3 Beyers: 87-98-53

◗ Following a half-length loss to Undrafted in his season opener in the Grade 2 Shakertown at Keeneland, the durable veteran finished sixth behind Rocket Heat and Alsvid in the Grade 3 Turf Sprint at Churchill. He won the 2014 Highlander in front-running style but has evolved into a stalker.

Hootenanny, by Quality Road

Last 3 Beyers: 82-91-86

◗ He was supplemented by trainer Wesley Ward, who has a poor Woodbine record when you ignore his racing fit shippers on opening weekend.

◗ The well-traveled 4-year-old has run hot and cold since taking the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita in 2014. After finishing second in the Jacques Cartier here in April, he was a dull eighth as the favorite following a troubled break in the Grade 3 Turf Sprint at Churchill.