09/30/2013 11:51AM

Woodbine: Goldstryke Glory meets Youcan'tcatchme in Apelia Stakes

Michael Burns
Goldstryke Glory will take on older rivals for the first time in Wednesday's $100,000 Apelia Stakes.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Quality speed will be on display in the $100,000 Apelia Stakes at Woodbine on Wednesday, when the hotshot 3-year-old Goldstryke Glory meets the aptly named Youcan’tcatchme in the six-furlong dash. Both are contenders for a Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion female sprinter of 2013.

Goldstryke Glory was one of the better 2-year-old fillies here in 2012. Following a winter layoff, she resurfaced in the spring at Hastings, where she finished second and third in a pair of dirt stakes. She subsequently joined trainer Kelly Callaghan’s Woodbine string.

After fading to fourth in the seven-furlong Duchess Stakes on July 21, Goldstryke Glory easily won both a six-furlong allowance and the six-furlong Inglorious Stakes, with Beyer Speed Figures of 90 and 92.

“In [the Duchess], I don’t think she loved the seven-eighths, but I really wouldn’t hold it against her,” Callaghan said. “Normally, when you ship a horse, your feed goes with you, and the people go with you. For her, everything changed, which can be hard on fillies. I only had her for three weeks before the Duchess. She was doing everything well. She’s just a lot more settled now.”

Callaghan said Goldstryke Glory has maintained her sharpness heading into the Apelia, which will be her first start against older stakes horses.

“I haven’t changed anything,” Callaghan said. “She’s pretty hardy. She’s eating. I’m happy with her. Running against older horses is the next step for her. She can be tough if she gets out [on the lead] by herself again. I think where she wins all her races is on the turn. She just accelerates through the turn and opens up.”

Youcan’tcatchme was supplemented to the race for $2,000 by trainer Sam DiPasquale, who sent her out to capture both the six-furlong Etobicoke Stakes and the seven-furlong Seaway Stakes in front-running style in August.

The most successful closers in the field are Acting Naughty and Roxy Gap.

Acting Naughty, a notoriously slow breaker, notched two stakes wins earlier in the meet in the Sweet Briar Too and the Grade 3 Whimsical. She recently was third in the Etobicoke and fourth in the Grade 3 Seaway.

Roxy Gap was the Canadian champion female sprinter and champion older female in 2012, during which she won three graded stakes. She missed the first half of this year after going through a sale and is coming off a runner-up finish in her second start off the bench in the Seaway.

Rounding out the field are Grade 3 stakes winner Nikkis Smartypants, who was a dull fifth in the Seaway, and Sca Doodle.