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Woodbine: Inglorious solidifies her status as Oaks favorite
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Inglorious got back into the groove Sunday at Woodbine, capturing the $180,000 La Lorgnette by 1 1/2 lengths and confirming her status as the favorite for the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks.
Undefeated in her two starts here last year for trainer Josie Carroll and the Donver Stable of Donna and Vern Dubinsky, Inglorious had leading rider Luis Contreras in the irons for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette.
“I told him to let her fall out and relax – be patient and make one run,” said Carroll, who had sent out Inglorious to win the six-furlong Fanfreluche and the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Lassie last fall. “That was the way she ran here last year.
“He rode a very smart race, and she’s a very nice filly.”
Inglorious went to New Orleans with Carroll for the winter and raced twice there, finishing second to the talented Kathmanblu in the 1 1/16-mile Rachel Alexandra but then fourth as the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Fair Grounds Oaks.
“She ran really good in her first race at Fair Grounds, but in her second race she kind of came out flat,” said Vern Dubinsky, who currently has 16 horses here with Carroll, plus a few others with Brian Lynch. “She ran a really nice race” Sunday.
The Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, will be run June 5.
Seawatch impresses in maiden win
While Inglorious returned a meager $3.30, Carroll and the Dubinskys had struck earlier on Sunday’s card with the $60.10 winner Seawatch.
Bred by his owners, Seawatch had started twice as a 2-year-old, finishing second for a $40,000 claiming price in his final appearance at 1 1/16 miles, and was returning in a straight maiden race at the same distance Sunday.
“He was bred for two turns; he should run all day,” Dubinsky said. “We’ll see where he takes us. It looks like he has a bit of a future.”
Seawatch’s success was all the more impressive since he wintered at nearby Woodlands Farm, and many of his opponents had trained in the south or had previous outings under their belts.
And while the $1 million Queen’s Plate suddenly has become a consideration, Seawatch currently is not eligible for the 1 1/4-mile showpiece for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds on June 26 and would have to be supplemented on entry day at a cost of $25,000.
“We’ll see how he does down the road,” Dubinsky said.
Kafiristan likely done for season
Kafiristan, another promising Canadian-bred 3-year-old in the Carroll barn, has gone to the sidelines following an impressive victory in his 6 1/2-furlong debut here April 9.
“He injured himself,” said Carroll, who trains Kafiristan for Knob Hill Stable. “He’ll probably be out for the season.”
Embur’s Song rallies in Hendrie
The last time Embur’s Song was sighted at Woodbine, she was finishing third at 2-5 in last July’s 1 1/16-mile Bison City Stakes.
But it was a new and improved version of Embur’s Song who appeared here last Saturday as the 4-year-old filly stalked the pace and rallied for an impressive 3 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3, $182,500 Hendrie Stakes.
Embur’s Song, who races for Fares Farm and is trained by Todd Pletcher, was cutting back to 6 1/2 furlongs after recording her first stakes win in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Doubledogdare at Keeneland on April 22.
Her winning time of 1:41.62 at Keeneland was a track record and yielded a Beyer Speed Figure of 94, a number that she surpassed with a career-high 101 for the Hendrie.
Patrick Husbands, who rode Embur’s Song for the first time in the Hendrie, was recording his meet-leading fourth stakes score.
Abrianna eyes Oaks after win
Earlier on Saturday’s program, Abrianna thrust herself into the Woodbine Oaks picture with a sharp maiden victory over 1 1/16 miles with Contreras in the irons.
Owned by Stronach Stable and trained by Roger Attfield, Abrianna was starting for the fourth time in her career and for the second time this season after running second over 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland.
“I loved her going into this race,” Attfield said. “She’d have to go into the Oaks off two races, and that’s tough. But she’s got a good bottom into her and at least I got a couple of races into her as a 2-year-old.”
Attfield also reports that Good Better Best, who had appeared to be headed to the Queen’s Plate following his game win in a 1 1/8-mile, first-level allowance at Keeneland on April 22, is on the shelf.
“He got hurt in his stall at Keeneland, three days after the race, during a thunderstorm,” Attfield said, adding that Good Better Best was recuperating at nearby Kinghaven Farm and there was no timetable for his return.
Good Better Best started three times here at 2, winning his maiden over six furlongs of turf and then finishing second over 1 1/16 miles of grass in the Cup and Saucer before finishing up the track in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity.
Contreras at Presque Isle for Baker
Contreras will be at Presque Isle Downs on Wednesday night to ride Fatal Bullet and Fast Yankee for trainer Reade Baker.
Fatal Bullet, Canada’s Horse of the Year and champion sprinter in 2008, will be looking to snap an eight-race losing streak in a $53,000 open allowance race at 5 1/2 furlongs.
The seven-horse field also includes Sports Select, who is based here at Woodbine with Terry Jordan but will run in the name of Jordan’s assistant, trainer Anita Bolton.
Fast Yankee is scheduled to make his seasonal bow in the $100,000 Tom Ridge, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds.
Olguin, Pacheco serving 3-day bans
Journeyman Gerry Olguin and apprentice Ryan Pacheco will be serving three-day suspensions over the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday cards.
The stewards ruled that Olguin had come in with his mount, Bears Pitch, during the stretch run of the second race last Wednesday. Bears Pitch was disqualified from third and placed seventh.
Pacheco was suspended for going out with his mount, Avery Amour, and interfering with Explosive Star during the stretch run of Friday’s eighth race. Avery Amour finished fifth but was disqualified and placed seventh.
◗ The Thoroughbred edition of “Bet Night Live” will return to The Score on Wednesday with a two-hour telecast beginning at 7 p.m. and covering the second through fifth races on the program.
Laura Diakun and Chad Rozema will return as hosts, Jim Bannon will be the analyst, and Natalie Zak and Sandy Hawley will be reporters.