07/25/2011 11:57AM

Woodbine: Windward Islands, Magic Broomstick trigger surge for Frostad

Michael Burns
After winning Sunday's Nijinsky, Windward Islands will be pointed to the Aug. 21 Sky Classic.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Mark Frostad had been keeping a relatively low profile at the current Woodbine meeting, with 6 winners from his first 52 starters heading into the latter stages of last Sunday’s program.

But, that situation changed within the span of slightly more than a half-hour as Frostad sent out Windward Islands to capture the Grade 2, $312,600 Nijinsky Stakes and Magic Broomstick to romp in a $77,386 open allowance race.

What makes those successes all the more significant is that the gelding Windward Islands and the mare Magic Broomstick, both owned by Sam-Son Farm, find themselves well-positioned heading into the lucrative late summer and fall turf programs for their respective divisions.

Windward Islands had been an impressive winner of last year’s Nijinsky, which like last Sunday’s was run over 1 1/8 miles of yielding turf, but had been blanked in five interim appearances.

“He finally got a nice trip,” said Frostad, who had watched Windward Islands finish a troubled third in the Grade 3 Singspiel over 1 1/2 miles of firm turf in his last start here June 26.

“He’s a very underrated horse. Anywhere from a mile and an eighth to a mile and a half, he’s dangerous.”

Windward Islands, a 7-year-old Kentucky-bred, has been carefully managed through a career which has seen him compile a record of 6-4-4 and earnings of $869,393 through 23 starts.

The next target for Windward Islands is the Grade 2, $250,000 Sky Classic, a 1 1/4-mile turf race here Aug. 21.

“He finished second in the race last year, when it was run in a bog,” said Frostad, who had watched Windward Islands finish five lengths behind Marsh Side in very soft going.

Magic Broomstick, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred, was making her first start in almost nine months in Sunday’s one-mile turf allowance.

“She had some surgery on her ankles after her last start, and I didn’t get her back until quite late,” said Frostad.

“She’s really matured beautifully, over the winter. She was much smaller last year, and her back bothered her.”

Magic Broomstick was a dominant winner here Sunday, stalking the pace and taking charge en route to an 8 1/2-length victory.

“She certainly handled everything very well,” said Frostad, who had given a leg up on both Windward Islands and Magic Broomstick to Emma-Jayne Wilson, who also rode two winners earlier on the card on what was her best day of the meeting.

The Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian, at 1 1/8 miles on the turf Sept. 18, is Magic Broomstick’s next major assignment here.

Embur’s Song could return for Seaway

Embur’s Song, shipping in from Saratoga for trainer Todd Pletcher, registered her fourth consecutive victory when a front-running three-quarter-length winner over Ariana D in Sunday’s $183,000, 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron.

Foaled in Ontario, the 4-year-old Embur’s Song picked up a winner’s share of $120,000 and increased her career bankroll to more than $550,000.

Embur’s Song won the Grade 3 Hendrie over 6 1/2 furlongs in an earlier appearance at the meeting on May 11. Patrick Husbands, aboard for the first time that day, journeyed to Presque Isle to pilot Embur’s Song to victory in the one-mile Windward on July 5 and again did the honors in the Ontario Matron.

The Grade 3, $150,000 Seaway, a seven-furlong race on Sept. 3, is next up for the division and an appearance there would qualify Embur’s Song for Sovereign Award consideration.

Weekend Romance gets vacation after heat stroke scare

Weekend Romance was seen as a star on the rise for trainer Catherine Day Phillips and was considered strictly the horse to beat here in last Saturday’s $125,000 Passing Mood Stakes.

And while she got the job done, Weekend Romance had to dig down deep to fend off an onrushing Sinister Quill and score by a half-length in the seven-furlong turf stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

Weekend Romance, a $25,000 yearling purchase who races for Rocco D’Alimonte and Frank Annecchini, had relaxed nicely in the early going en route to comfortable scores in her first two starts this season.

Jono Jones had been aboard for those victories but recently elected to take a break from the saddle, to deal with ongoing struggles with weight.

With Luis Contreras in the irons for the first time, Weekend Romance shot to the front in the Passing Mood.

“She was real aggressive,” said Day Phillips. “There wasn’t much you could do, except not fight her too much.

“She was good enough to hold on, but it was a little tense in the last sixteenth.”

The tension mounted post-race as Weekend Romance began experiencing difficulties returning through the tunnel to the backstretch area.

“She had severe muscle cramping, due to heat stroke,” said Day Phillips, adding that Weekend Romance was unable to continue on her own and was removed via horse ambulance.

Weekend Romance seems to have overcome her ordeal, however, and now will be getting a well-deserved break.

“She’s been on a fairly ambitious schedule,” said Day Phillips. “She’s had three hard races in a row, including two fairly close together.”