09/16/2013 4:13PM

Woodbine: Minakshi, Colonial Flag may meet again in E.P. Taylor Stakes

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Michael Burns
Minakshi and jockey Luis Contreras (left, blue cap) win the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes by a half-length Sunday.

Michael Matz enjoyed a good day at Woodbine on Sunday as the trainer of Minakshi and Colonial Flag, the top two finishers in the Grade 2, $306,400 Canadian Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles on turf. The result was not very surprising to Matz, who expected good things from the 4-year-old Colonial Flag and the 5-year-old Minakshi.

“Colonial Flag came out of her last race with a lot of confidence,” said Matz, who had sent out Colonial Flag to win a minor stakes at Delaware over 1 1/8 miles on turf Aug. 17. “I knew she’d run well at Woodbine before and was hoping she’d run a big race.”

Colonial Flag had won the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, in her first trip here in August 2012.

Minakshi was making her Woodbine debut and recorded her first stakes win in North America after coming off a third-plade finish in Monmouth’s Grade 2 Matchmaker over 1 1/8 miles on turf July 28.

“She’s been knocking at the door for a while,” Matz said. “A couple of times, she’s been on the lead, and I didn’t think that was the way she wanted to be ridden. I was hoping if she could get covered up a little bit, she’d be more effective.”

Jockey Luis Contreras followed Matz’s instructions to perfection, and Minakshi held off Colonial Flag for a half-length victory.

Though the Canadian was a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Minakshi is not Breeders’ Cup-eligible, and Matz doubts that the owners would want to shell out the $400,000 supplementary nomination fee.

Instead, Minakshi and Colonial Flag could be back here for the E.P. Taylor Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares on Oct. 27 that offers Grade 1 status and a purse of $500,000.

“That’s a strong possibility,” Matz said.