11/30/2011 2:17PM

Woodbine: Canadian Horse of the Year contender Inglorious enjoys break

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Barbara D. Livingston
Inglorious is expected to return to trainer Josie Carroll's barn after Christmas.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Inglorious, who was the toast of the Canadian racing world after capturing the Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate during a three-week span here this spring, has been on the farm for a couple of months now.

“She’s still having a break in Ocala,” said Josie Carroll, who trains Inglorious for the Donver Stable of Vern and Donna Dubinsky. “She’ll probably come over to me at Palm Meadows after Christmas. We’ll start her up and then decide what direction we’re going in.”

Carroll will be heading off in two directions, with 17 stalls at Palm Meadows and another 20 at Fair Grounds.

In the meantime, while the Canadian Horse of the Year title once might have seemed to be hers for the taking, Inglorious probably will face stiff competition from Pender Harbour and Never Retreat when the Sovereign Award voters go to the online polls in January.

“I think she just had such a fantastic season, stepping and doing what we asked her to do,” Carroll said. “The filly winning the Plate was kind of the culmination of her year. She beat a strong field and did it decisively.”

Besides her victories in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks and 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate, Inglorious captured the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette in her local season bow.

Inglorious also finished second in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds and third here in the Grade 3 Selene to finish her campaign with a record of 3-1-1 from 7 starts and earnings of $1,113,000.

Pender Harbour on farm for winter

Pender Harbour, trained by Mike DePaulo, was sent to Gail Woods’s Woodlands Farm in nearby Hillsburgh after winding up his 3-year-old campaign with a second-place finish in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Autumn for 3-year-olds and up.

“He’ll stay there for the winter,” DePaulo said. “That’s what he did last year.”

An Ontario-sired 3-year-old, Pender Harbour won the final two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, Fort Erie’s Prince of Wales over 1 3/16 miles of dirt and Woodbine’s 1 1/2-mile Breeders’ on the turf, after finishing third in the Queen’s Plate.

Pender Harbour also won the Bunty Lawless, a restricted one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up, and banked $840,400 for owners Denny Andrews, Sandra Lazaruk, and Bob and Roberta Giffin.

“He’s got a pretty open book next year,” said DePaulo, noting that Pender Harbour had won stakes on three different surfaces with his Polytrack score coming in the restricted Kingarvie at 1 1/16 miles in his 2-year-old campaign.

On Monday, DePaulo will be heading down to Gulfstream, where he has five stalls. His opening string there is expected to include Laureate Conductor, Cascina, Trippi’s Sailor, and Jojo’s Mojo.

Never Retreat may race again

Never Retreat, a 5-year-old mare who races for Team Block, was looking to strengthen her case for an Eclipse Award in the female turf division, but came up short as the third-place finisher in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Park last Friday.

But the Kentucky-bred Never Retreat, who is trained by Chris Block, has made the three starts in Canada this year requisite for Sovereign Award consideration and is a leading candidate both in her own and the Horse of the Year categories.

After finishing second in the Grade 2 Nassau over one mile here in June, Never Retreat returned five weeks later to capture the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at nine furlongs.

Never Retreat’s final appearance here came in the Grade 2 Canadian over 1 1/8 miles on Sept. 18, when she prevailed by a half-length over subsequent Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Perfect Shirl.

Competing exclusively on turf, Never Retreat also won Keeneland’s Grade 1 First Lady and Grade 2 Jenny Wiley and Gulfstream’s Grade 3 Honey Fox while compiling a seasonal record of 5-2-1 from 10 starts and earnings of $889,778.

“I think she’s just been a model of consistency,” Block said. “I think the Honey Fox was the key race for her. She broke sharply and positioned herself early, and that seemed to change her outlook. She used that strategy for the rest of the year.”

While her connections originally stated that Never Retreat was being retired to the broodmare ranks following the Matriarch, Block said that decision is being reconsidered.

“She may run one more time at Gulfstream in early January,” Block said.

The first filly and mare turf stakes of the meeting in the New Year will be the Jan. 7 Marshua’s River, which offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $100,000,

Connections seek Ontario Lassie repeat

Inglorious won last year’s 1 1/16-mile Ontario Lassie for Carroll and the Dubinskys and the tandem will be looking to take down this year’s running of the $150,000 stakes for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies with Woollahra.

A $35,000 purchase at the local select yearling sale, Woollahra debuted with a ninth-place finish at seven furlongs here Oct. 1.

After graduating at the $50,000 claiming level with a one-length win at 6 1/2 furlongs, Woollahra came back in a first-level allowance race at six furlongs here Nov. 18 and was a closing third at 34-1.

“She’s a filly that’s improving, and I think going two turns is what she really wants to do,” Carroll said.

Groom Parchen dies at 83

The Carroll barn is in mourning following the death of 83-year-old groom Russell Parchen, who suffered fatal injuries in a bicycle accident here last Sunday evening.

“I’d worked with Russell when I was an assistant to Mike Doyle, and he was my first employee when I went out on my own in 1994,” Carroll said. “He’s been on the racetrack his whole life.”

Parchen’s friends recalled that the top horses whom he groomed included Dancer’s Image, who finished first in the 1968 Kentucky Derby only to be disqualified following a positive drug test.

“It’s amazing how many people have come by the barn,” said Carroll, adding that Parchen had been born in Edmonton and still has family in that Alberta city.

◗ Friday will be the last day that the clockers will be recording workouts on the main track. The track will remain open for gallopers on Saturday and Sunday.