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Woodbine notes: Regal Conqueror jumps into stakes company for Victorian Queen
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Regal Conqueror turned plenty of heads in her Sept. 7 debut at Woodbine, moving quickly to take command and drawing off to a 7 1/2-length win in a six-furlong Ontario-sired maiden race.
On Saturday, Regal Conqueror will be coming back at the same distance when she makes her stakes debut against Ontario-sired fillies in the $125,000 Victorian Queen with the restricted stakes winners On Rainbow Bridge and Lexie Lou among her six opponents.
“There are others in that area proven at this level,” acknowledged Darwin Banach, who conditions the homebred Regal Conqueror for Bill Sorokolit. “We think our filly’s that kind of a filly. She’ll have to prove it.”
Eurico Rosa Da Silva was in the irons for Regal Conqueror’s win and when the filly breezed five furlongs in 1:02.40 on the main track here last Sunday.
“She worked really good,” Banach said. “It was a little bit of a deep, slow track.”
Banach also believes that Regal Conqueror can move forward from her first start.
“She’s just professional about everything she does,” Banach said. “She didn’t get goofy after the race .She stayed realistic about everything, in her training. It’s nice to see them have a good mind.
Rounding out the Victorian Queen field will be Bears Pride, Lia’s Miracle, Sandy’s Hkurricane, and Seeking A Glitter .
Lexie Lou, with exercise rider Tyler Gaskin in the irons, blew out three furlongs in 36.40 seconds on the main track here Wednesday morning.
“She galloped out really good,” said John Ross, who owns and trains Lexie Lou. “The stage is all set.”
Grand Arch sharpens for Knickerbocker
Grand Arch, trained by Brian Lynch, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 on the Polytrack here Wednesday morning and is scheduled to make his next start on Oct. 12 in Belmont’s Grade 3, $200,000 Knickerbocker, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.
Regular rider Luis Contreras was aboard Grand Arch, a turf specialist who is coming off back-to-back third-place finishes here in the Grade 2 Nijinsky at 1 1/8 miles and the Grade 2 Sky Classic at 1 1/4 miles.
“He’s doing really well,” said Lynch, who trains the Kentucky-bred 4-year-old gelding for owners Jim and Susan Hill.
Kissable ready for Flower Bowl
Kissable, trained by Roger Attfield, breezed four furlongs in 50 seconds on the main track here Wednesday and has been entered in Saturday’s Flower Bowl, a 1 1/4-mile turf race at Belmont that offers Grade 1 status and a purse of $600,000.
Patrick Husbands was aboard Kissable, who went in company with stablemate No Explaining and jockey Gary Boulanger.
“I was very happy with them,” Attfield said. “They just sat together and had a gallop.”
Kissable last saw action on Aug. 5 at Saratoga, finishing a troubled sixth in the Waya over 1 1/2 miles of turf.
Following the Flower Bowl, Kissable is scheduled to ship to Keeneland, where Attfield has eight stalls for the upcoming meeting.
All remaining well, the Irish-bred Kissable might get in a final start there in the Oct. 20 Dowager before leaving for England, where she is to be sold as a broodmare prospect.
Attfield pair prep for major stakes
Attfield also sent out the 6-year-old mare Moment of Majesty and the 2-year-old filly Llanarmon to breeze four furlongs in 48.40 while going in company on the main track.
Boulanger was aboard Moment of Majesty, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Canadian over 1 1/8 miles of turf here Sept. 15, while Emma-Jayne Wilson did the honors on Llanarmon, who captured the Grade 2 Natalma over a mile of turf in her second career start Sept. 14.
Moment of Majesty is pointing to the Oct. 27 E.P. Taylor, the 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares that offers Grade 1 status and a purse of $500,000.
Llanarmon earned a fees-paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with her Natalma victory but is not Breeders’ Cup-eligible and would have to be supplemented at a cost of $100,000.
“We’ve definitely ruled that out,” said Attfield, who trains the homebred Llanarmon for Dick Bonnycastle and has nominated her to next Saturday’s Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes.
The $150,000 Mazarine, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies, would be Llanarmon’s first start on Polytrack and first around two turns.
Attfield also reports that Meri Shika, who made her first start for his barn in the Canadian, left for Keeneland on Wednesday.
Under Canadian quarantine regulations, Meri Shika could remain in Canada for no more than 15 days after shipping over from Europe for the Canadian, in which she was prominent early but tired to finish last in the field of nine.
Meri Shika, a French-bred filly, was purchased privately this summer by owner Stella Perdomo.
Team Valor acquires Dig Alittle Deeper
Dig Alittle Deeper, coming off a fourth-place finish here in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes for trainer Nick Gonzalez, has been sold privately and will be based at Fair Hill Farm with Team Valor trainer Rick Mettee.
Dig Alittle Deeper, purchased for $13,000 at Keeneland last fall, is a maiden after three starts but ran second in the Swynford Stakes over seven furlongs of Polytrack in his second outing for owners Martha Gonzalez and Frank Roberts.
Dig Alittle Deeper is a half-brother to Jack Milton, a 3-year-old turf specialist trained by Todd Pletcher who is a Grade 3 stakes winner and Grade 1 stakes-placed.
Four riders begin suspensions
The Woodbine jockeys’ room will be missing a few key members in coming days with journeymen Steven Bahen, Emma-Jayne Wilson, and Eurico Rosa da Silva scheduled to serve suspensions after losing appeals at the Ontario Racing Commission head office on Sept. 19.
Bahen is to serve a suspension of four racing days, Friday through Sunday and Wednesday, while Wilson’s three-day ban runs Friday through Sunday.
Da Silva’s infraction occurred at Fort Erie, and he will sitting out Sunday, Tuesday, and Sunday, Oct. 6, the next three scheduled days there.
Apprentice rider Nick Webb will begin serving a 15-day suspension Friday after the stewards ruled he was guilty of careless riding when his mount, Sugar Glider, ran up on heels and fell in upper stretch during the fifth race on Sept. 18.
Motlawa Blues, under apprentice rider Katy Morrison, had her legs taken out from her by the rolling Sugar Glider.
Morrison was not injured, but Webb sustained severe damage to one of his ears and has not ridden in the interim.
Sugar Glider fractured a knee and had to be euthanized.