09/09/2010 12:24PM

Simply Splendid retired, will be sold

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Michael Burns
Simply Splendid has been retired and will be sold at Keeneland this fall.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Simply Splendid, who had been instrumental in getting trainer Gail Cox off to a sensational start this year, has been retired.

Simply Splendid, who also is owned by Cox in partnership with John Menary, last saw action here July 25 when she finished second in the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron.

And, while Cox had considered keeping on with Simply Splendid for the Sept. 18 Canadian and perhaps the Oct. 16 E.P. Taylor, she elected to put her away, with her next target being the November sale at Keeneland.

“I was on the fence a little bit,” Cox said. “But there would really be just the one race left for her, because she wouldn’t be ready for the Canadian.

“She’d had a couple of issues before her last race, and we just decided to retire her sound and healthy, with the great form.”

Simply Splendid, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old, became a stakes winner here last summer in the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too and went on to record close second-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone and the Grade 3 Seaway at seven furlongs.

Despite those solid Polytrack credentials, Cox played a hunch and had Simply Splendid on turf in the one-mile prep for the Nassau Stakes.

Simply Splendid was a winner that day and came right back in the Grade 2 Nassau at the same distance, with some talented shippers among her victims.

A foot abscess forced Simply Splendid to miss her next scheduled turf start, which was to come in the July 18 Dance Smartly, so the Ontario Matron will stand as her swan song.

“If that’s the way it has to be, that’s okay,” Cox said. “It was great to have her have her. She was pretty special.”

Simply Splendid won 6 of 13 career starts, finished second three times and third twice, and earned $497,779.

Cox has pair for weekend stakes

Cox will be looking to regroup with starters for both stakes races here this weekend.

Jesters Jazz, a homebred daughter of Mr. Jester who races for Craig Cameron, has been entered in Saturday’s $125,000 La Prevoyante, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies and mares.

Something Extra, a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old who is owned by Cox and Menary, is to go in Sunday’s $150,000 Swynford at seven furlongs.

Jesters Jazz won her maiden at first asking over six furlongs here last year and captured the restricted Lady Angela at seven furlongs in the second and most recent start of her current campaign here May 24.

“I gave her a good little bit of time off,” Cox said. ‘She’s doing great.”

While Jesters Jazz will have questions to answer with regards to both the surface and distance of the La Prevoyante, Cox is optimistic.

“I haven’t worked her on turf, but she galloped on the turf at Payson Park,” said Cox, who also noted that Fashion Conscious, another Mr. Jester filly, had won on the grass here this year.

“She comes from off the pace and settles quite well, so I think she’ll handle the distance. It’s still one turn.”

Something Extra finished an encouraging third in his 4 1/2-furlong debut and followed up with a game win at 5 1/2 furlongs.

In his third and most recent appearance, Something Extra moved out to six furlongs and finished a troubled second behind the promising Stormy Rush.

“He got into a lot of trouble there,” Cox said. “He checked hard and came back on to be second.

“I think he’ll love seven furlongs and that eventually he’ll be a two-turn horse. He’s doing very well. He’s a very nice horse, easy to train.

Auteur takes shot in Woodbine Mile

Barbara Minshall, who trains Auteur for owner Bruce Lunsford, will be hoping for a storybook ending to next Sunday’s Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile.

Auteur will come into the Woodbine Mile off a sharp score over one mile of turf in a second-level allowance/$62,500 optional claimer here Aug. 14.

“The owner wants to take a shot,” Minshall said. “We couldn’t find another race for him, and the horse is doing so well.”

A Kentucky-bred 4-year-old gelding, Auteur was a $350,000 yearling purchase who had lost with a $35,000 claiming tag before being shipped to Minshall here last fall.

After winning a first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles on the main track when making his local debut, Auteur tired and was eased when winding up his campaign in the 1 3/4-mile Valedictory.

Following a winter in South Carolina, Auteur returned to Minshall here in May and performed encouragingly in each of his first three starts on grass before breaking through last time out.

“He’s only 4; he’s really just coming around,” Minshall said. “He just seems to be getting better all the time.

“He won his last race really nice.”

Minshall, who sent out Auteur to breeze five furlongs in 1:01.80 here Wednesday, has had three previous starters in the Woodbine Mile. Kiridashi finished seventh in 1997 and concluded his career with a fifth-place finish in the 1998 running while showing his customary speed on each occasion. Hard Currency finished last of 14 at 92-1 in 2001.

Dos Lunas ships in for Natalma

Dos Lunas, who races for her owner, trainer, and co-breeder John Glenney, checked in from Saratoga on Wednesday for the Natalma Stakes.
The Grade 3, $150,000 Natalma for 2-year-old fillies will be run on next Saturday’s program along with the Grade 2, $250,000 Summer for 2-year-olds.

Both the Natalma and Summer are one-mile turf races and a part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program.

Dos Lunas, bred in Kentucky, won her debut over five furlongs of turf at Churchill Downs first crack out. After finishing a well-beaten fifth in the Grade 3 Schuylerville over six furlongs of sloppy going at Saratoga, Dos Lunas rebounded to finish second over one mile of turf in Monmouth’s Junior Champion on Aug. 29.

Accompanying Dos Lunas were stablemate Fancy Fiona, a 5-year-old who retains her first allowance condition, and exercise rider/groom Mandi Ledbetter.

Dos Lunas would be Glenney’s first starter in Canada.