06/06/2010 11:00PM

Simply Splendid shows love for grass again


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Gail Cox's decision to switch Simply Splendid to the turf here at Woodbine this spring has proven to be a stroke of genius.

Simply Splendid, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old, completed a one-mile turf double with her half-length score under jockey Chantal Sutherland in last Saturday's Grade 2, $330,400 Nassau for fillies and mares.

"I thought it was an extremely tough field, and it's a nice thing to win it when it's in your own backyard," said Cox, who had watched Simply Splendid leave five rivals, including Grade 1 winner Rainbow View, in her wake in the Nassau. "She's pretty amazing."

Simply Splendid had become a stakes winner in the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too here last summer but had finished 10th when trying turf for the only time in her first start of 2009 at Gulfstream Park.

Cox, however, noted that offspring of Simply Splendid's sire, Maria's Mon, have run well on grass and saw other encouraging signs at Payson Park last winter.

"She moved very well on the grass down there," said Cox. "I just sort of went with a gut feeling."

After winning her first start of the season in a one-mile grass allowance on May 16, Simply Splendid delivered the most important career win for Cox, both as a trainer and as an owner in partnership with John Menary.

The next turf stakes for older females here is the Grade 2, $300,000 Dance Smartly, a 1 1/8-mile race on July 18.

"We'll have to think if she wants to go that far," said Cox. "She is a stakes winner on Poly, too."