Inglorious, a well-bred filly, beat the boys rather handily in Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine, near Toronto -- the 152nd running of the Classic.
With Luis Contreras up, Inglorious got started well back in the field of 17 Ontario-bred 3-year-olds, closed the gap four-wide as the field turned into the stretch and quickly challenged front-running longshot Hippolytus. With a final kick, Inglorious sprinted clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Pender Harbour was third, 2 lengths farther back, and the favorite, Check Your Soul, faded in the lane and got home seventh.
Inglorious, a Hennessy filly out of the Smart Strike mare Noble Strike, finished 1 1/4 miles on the all-weather track in 2:02.63.
The only filly in Sunday's race, Inglorious became just the fifth filly to win both the Woodbine Oaks and the Plate.
"I wasn't in a hurry off the start," Contreras said. "I was watching the film before the race. I followed the favorite [Check Your Soul] and it worked out. She gave me everything. That's the main thing about her. She likes to win."
The Queen's Plate is the first leg in the Canadian Triple Crown. The second leg is the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, at 1 3/16 miles on July 17 at Fort Erie. The series returns to Woodbine on Aug. 7 for the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on the grass.
Other weekend racing with potential implications for this fall's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs:
Headache proved just that to favorite Awesome Gem in Saturday's $300,000, Grade III Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Stakes, surging clear in the late going to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Awesome Gem was second, a neck better then Victory Pete. Headache, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred Tapit gelding, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:47.83 with Miguel Mena up for trainer Michael Maker.
In the companion $250,000, Grade III Iowa Derby, Prayer for Relief posted a minor upset, first pressing the pace, then driving clear in the lane to win by 2 lengths over Sheriff Cogburn. Dreaminofthewin is still dreamin' but finished third, 5 1/2 lengths farther back. The odds-on favorite, Astrology, struggled home sixth, never a factor. Caleb's Posse finished fourth. Prayer for Relief, a Kentucky-bred Jump Start colt, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:41.73 with Rafael Bejarano handling the reins. Bob Baffert trains the colt for Zayat Stables.
Zazu saved ground all the way, then outfinished odds-on favorite Plum Pretty to win Saturday's $150,000, Grade II Hollywood Starlet for 3-year-old fillies by 1 1/2 lengths. Love Theway Youare finished third and Wallstreeter completed the order of finish. Zazu, a Kentucky-bred Tapit filly, finished third in the Kentucky Oaks, won by Plum Pretty. Zazu ran Saturday's 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather track in 1:43.36 with Joel Rosario in the irons for trainer John Sadler. "I was able to keep my eye on Plum Pretty the whole race because I knew she was the one to beat," Sadler said. "I waited on the inside until the last possible moment. I saw the hole open and took it from there." It was the second straight year a Sadler trainee has beaten a Kentucky Oaks winner in the Starlet. Last year, he sent out Switch to defeat Blind Luck in the event.
Buster's Ready stuck close to the pace in Saturday's $250,000, Grade I Mother Goose Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park, then quickly surged to the lead and pulled away in the stretch, winning off by 4 1/4 lengths. Joyful Victory, the odds-on favorite, was second and R Gypsy Gold completed the trifecta. Buster's Ready, a Virginia-bred More Than Ready filly, finished 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.44 with John Velazquez at the controls. She entered the Mother Goose off a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 20. "She's been steadily improving all winter and spring and she's a filly we always felt wanted more distance," said winning trainer Todd Pletcher. "Her last race was sort of a breakthrough race for her and she's kind of finding her rhythm now. She's putting it all together and being able to steadily get some route races [helped]." He said Buster's Ready is ready now for Saratoga.
Freedom Star led them all the way in Friday's $100,000 Iowa Distaff, turning back a challenge entering the stretch and then drawing clear to win by 3 1/4 lengths over Bella Medaglia. Always In My Heart finished third. Freedom Star, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred Street Cry mare, finished the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.93 with Rafael Bejarano in the irons. Trainer Bob Baffert last ran Freedom Star to a win in New Mexico a month ago.
Little Miss Holly stalked the pace in Saturday's $200,000, Grade III Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows, then rallied between rivals and cleared the field, drawing off to win by 2 lengths over Hearts on Fire. Find the Humor was third and the odds-on favorite, Daisy Devine, finished fifth, never a factor. Little Miss Holly, a Kentucky-bred Maria's Mon filly, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.66 under Corey Lanerie. Steve Margolis trains the winner, who also scored in her last start, at Churchill Downs.
Golddigger's Boy moved to the lead at the 16th pole in Saturday's $200,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap and easily cleared the field, winning by 1 1/4 lengths. Rock Yard and Whistle Pig finished second and third. Golddigger's Boy, a 4-year-old, Pennsylvania-bred Jump Start colt, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.24 with Stewart Elliott up and picked up his fifth straight win.
Ducky Drake closed with a rush to upset Friday's $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap, winning by 1/2 length over fellow longshot local Winter Camp. Atta Boy Roy finished third and the odds-on favorite, Ventana, faded to finish fourth. Ducky Drake, a 9-year-old, California-bred Benchmark gelding, completed the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.54 with Phil Treator in the irons.
Signature Red stuck close to the pace in Sunday's $200,000 (Canadian) Highlander Stakes at Woodbine, got to the front midway down the stretch and survived a late bid by the favorite, Fiddler's Patriot, to win by a nose. Hero's Reward was third. Signature Red, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of Bernstein, ran 6 furlongs on firm turf in 1:09.00 with Luis Contreras up, then had to survive an objection before posting his first victory since winning the same race last year.
Filly & Mare Sprint
Eve Giselle made the early going in Saturday's $125,000 Sweet and Sassy Stakes for fillies and mares, surrendered the lead to odds-on favorite Tar Heel Mom turning for home but then rallied to retake the advantage and got home first by 2 1/2 lengths. Tar Heel Mom saved second by 2 lengths over Wildcat Aly. Eve Giselle, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred daughter of Five Star Day, finished 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.51 with Javier Santiago up.
Beat the Blues stalked the pace in Friday's $100,000 Saylorville Stakes for fillies and mares at Prairie Meadows, kicked into gear four-wide in the lane and got home first by 1 1/2 lengths over Ha Ha Tonka. Tornado Betty was third. Beat the Blues, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred daughter of Great Pyramid, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.46 under Jesus Castanon.
Malibu Pier stalked the pace in Sunday's $100,000, Grade III Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park, got by pacesetting Restless Soul a 16th out and won by 1 3/4 lengths over Cozi Rosie. Restless Soul held third and Timezone, well back, completed the order of finish. Malibu Pier, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Malibu Moon filly, ran the 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in 2:01.01 with Brice Blanc up for trainer Carla Gaines. It was the sixth win from 11 starts for Malibu Pier and followed a poor showing in the Gamely Stakes on May 30. "It was a beautiful trip," Blanc said. "It turned out the way I planned it on paper."
Musketier kicked into gear in the stretch run of Sunday's $150,000 (Canadian) Singspiel Stakes at Woodbine, then outfinished Grassy to win by a neck. Windward Islands finished third and the favorite, Rahy's Attorney, got home fifth after showing the way through the early furlongs. Musketier, a 9-year-old, German-bred son of Acatenango, finished 1 1/2 miles of firm turf in 2:29.54 with John Velazquez riding, winning the event for the second straight year. Velazquez said he knows the horse likes to ease himself when he makes the lead, adding, "I had to keep after him" to the wire.
Court of the Realm stayed close to the lead in Saturday's $250,000 (Canadian) King Edward Stakes at Woodbine, swung three-wide for the stretch run and got by pacesetting Fifty Proof to win by 1/2 length. The favorite, Society's Chairman, rallied from far back to take third. Workin for Hops finished next-last of 11 with a wide trip from an outside gate. Court of the Realm, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Powerscourt colt, ran the 1 mile on "good" turf in 1:35.86 with Eurico Da Silva riding.
Filly & Mare Turf
Giant's Play led from from the start, setting a tedious pace in Saturday's $150,000, Grade II New York Stakes for distaffers at Belmont Park, then hanging on late to win by 1/2 length over Zagora. The favorite, Hibaayeb, finished third. Giant's Play, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Giant's Causeway filly, ran the 10 furlongs on the firm inner turf course in 2:04.76. Rajiv Maragh rode for trainer Christophe Clement. The New York was Giants Play's first start since a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay on May 28, in which she was rank early. "She was a lot more relaxed today and it helped me do my job better," Maragh said. "I felt like we were going slow, but my main thing was to try to get her to settle. It was the key to getting the best out of her, so that's what I did. I wasn't worried about the fractions at all." Giant's Play "ran" 1/2 mile in 52.99 and 6 furlongs in 1:17.65.
Summer Soiree, making her first start on turf, posted a convincing 8 1/2-lengths victory in Saturday's $155,000 Grade III Boiling Springs Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Monmouth Park. With Gabriel Saez in the irons, the Kentucky-bred War Front miss battled to the lead and dominated eight rivals. My Sunshine Gal was best of the rest with Hessonite third. Summer Soiree finished 1 1/16 miles on "good" turf in 1:42.89. "She's a real handful around the barn in the morning," said winning trainer H. Graham Motion. "When I saw her move to the lead early, I was a little worried, but I guess for no reason. I was happy to see her relax. Having sat off horses early on is going to help her a lot down the road."
Worthington led from the start in Saturday's $50,000 Minstrel Stakes at Louisiana Downs, held well and won by 2 1/4 lengths over Swass Like Me. Primistalla finished third and the favorite, Private Prayer, got home fourth. Worthington, a Texas-bred Western Gambler gelding, got the "about" 5 furlongs over firm going in 57.48 seconds under Justin Shepherd.
Flashy Lassie rallied from well back in Saturday's $100,000 Grade III Debutante at Churchill Downs, using a move into the stretch to rally by the leaders and post an upset win. Five Star Momma led much of the way and finished second, 1 length back. Then it was 8 3/4 lengths farther back to Queen Teuta in third. My Due Process, along in her own due time, finished fourth. Flashy Lassie, a Kentucky-bred Flashy Bull filly out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Pop Lassie, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.89 under Kent Desormeaux. Despite being the longest shot on the board, Flashy Lassie picked up her second straight win under the twin spires. "For a second-time starter, she was very mature and very professional," Desormeaux said. "She was very well trained and I think that's why she won today." The historic race has been won in the past by such later-career luminaries as Bewitch, Alcibiades and Silverbulletday. Trainer Gary Simms said Sunday Flashy Lassie "came out of the race fine and licked up her feed tub. We're doing good and ready to roll … The ultimate goal is the Breeders' Cup. I haven't even thought about where she will run next, but we'll look for something in about 30 or 40 days.
Tu Endie Wei, making her first start in Saturday's $150,000 (Canadian) My Dear Stakes at Woodbine, dropped well back, then closed with a rush and drew off easily, winning by 4 3/4 lengths over Runfor Ro. Samsal finished third. Eu Endie Wei, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Johar out of the Indian Charlie mare Ms. Cornstalk, ran 5 furlongs on the all-weather track in 56.93 seconds with James McAleney. The winner is a Brereton Jones homebred, trained by Reade Baker.
Little Ms Protocol stalked the pace in Saturday's $50,000 Princess Stakes at Louisiana Downs, got into contention in the stretch and prevailed by 1/2 length despite being carried out by the drifting favorite, Storm's Princess. The latter finished second but was demoted to third for interfering with Cajun Diva, who was awarded place money. Little Ms Protocol, a Louisiana-bred daughter of El Corredor, ran the "about" 5 furlongs on firm turf in 57.18 seconds with Diego Saenz up.
Misty for Me shook off favorite Midday late in Saturday's Group 1 Pretty Poly Stakes at the Curragh and drew clear to win by a convincing 6 lengths over that rival. Chrysanthemum was third and Obama Rule finished sixth. The long-awaited seasonal debut of international Group 1 winner Snow Fairy was further delayed when she was withdrawn because of unsuitable going, rated soft to yielding. Misty for Me, a 3-year-old Galileo filly, finished the 1 1/4 miles in 2:13.37 with Seamie Heffeman aboard for trainer Aidan O'Brien. Misty for Me came into the Pretty Polly with a mixed record – 11th in the English 1000 Guineas on May 1, victory in the Irish 1000 Guineas three weeks later and fifth in the English Oaks on a short turnaround June 3. "We learned a lot from Epsom and that was her first time over a mile and a half, which we really weren't sure about," O'Brien said. "It's very possible that she could go for the Irish Oaks. But now we also have Wonder of Wonders for that … We'll have to go home and talk about it." Misty for Me is owned not by Clint Eastwood but rather Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier and Derrick Smith. Midday won the 2009 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf and finished second in that event last year.
Treasure Beach rallied to a 3/4-lengths victory in Sunday's Group 1 Irish Derby at the Curragh, leading a parade of O'Brien trainees to a sweep of the top three placings. It was the fourth time the dominant Irish conditioner had accomplished that feat and his sixth win in the Irish Derby. Seville and Memphis Tennessee completed the sweep, with Her Majesty the Queen's Carlton House finishing fourth. Treasure Beach, a son of Galileo, now has four victories from eight career starts. O'Brien said he is considering the colt for the Grand Prix de Paris on Bastille Day. "Treasure Beach has progressed with every run and he has a few options now," he said. "He could go for the Grand Prix De Paris, the King George or else he could have a break before coming back for the second half of the season."
Sarafina rallied from last of five to win Sunday's Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and earn an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf, part of the "Win and You're In" program. The 4-year-old daughter of Refuse to Bend is considered a likely candidate for the Prix Vermeille and the Prix de l'Arc d'Triomphe later in the year. Cirrus des Aigles set a slow pace in Sunday's race and jockey Christophe Lemaire had his hands full keeping Sarafina under control. When asked to run in the stretch, she responded to win by a neck. Cirrus des Aigles held second with Silver Pond third.
Earnestly raced close to the pace in Sunday's Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin Racecourse, then finished best of all to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Buena Vista, the two-time Japanese Horse of the Year. Eishin Flash finished third. Earnestly, third in the same race last year, ran the "about" 1 3/8 miles on firm going in course-record time of 2:10.10. He scored his first Group 1 victory and earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf through the "Win and You're In" program. He is a 6-year-old son of Grass Wonder.
Upperline came from last of five to win Saturday's $100,000 (Canadian) Trillium Stakes for fillies and mares by 3 1/2 lengths over Bubble Gum. Milwaukee Appeal finished third and the favorite, Maristar, faded to finish last. Upperline, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Maria's Mon filly, ran 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:50.64 with Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard.
Clement Rock shook free of traffic midway through Saturday's $100,000 (Canadian) Charlie Barley Stakes for 3-year-olds and went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Something Extra. Thundering Waters was third and the favorite, Walker's Landing, settled for fourth. Clement Rock, a Florida-bred Strong Hope colt out of the Tabasco Cat mare Ellesmere, ran the 1 mile on good turf in 1:36.59 for jockey Luis Contreras.
Ponzi Scheme outfinished Eighttofasttocatch in Wednesday's $50,000 Joseph French Memorial Stakes, pulling away after a long duel to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Not Abroad finished third. Ponzi Scheme, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Sunday Break gelding, ran the 1 mile and 70 yards on a fast track in 1:40.80 with Paco Lopez in the irons.
Ava K. dueled to the lead in Sunday's $100,000 Bouwerie Stakes for 3-year-old, New York-bred fillies and then drew off to win by 4 1/2 lengths over Miss Valentine. Hot Danger finished third. Ava K., a daughter of Dixie Union, finished the 7 furlongs in 1:24.17 with Ramon Dominguez riding
Preachintothedevil drew off in the stretch run to upset Sunday's $100,000 Mike Lee Stakes for 3-year-old New York-breds, scoring by 4 1/4 lengths over Tap Attack. Pin Number was third and the odds-on favorite, Bug Juice, faded late to finish fifth. Preachintothedevil, a Pulpit colt, ran 7 furlongs in 1:22.44 with Jose Lezcano up.
Check Point rallied four-wide into the lane in Saturday's $75,000 Lighthouse Stakes for fillies and mares, passed all five rivals and went on to win by 2 3/4 lengths over Debonair Darling. Successful Song finished third. Check Point, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred Posse mare out of the Rahy mare Turning Point, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.09 with Carlos Marquez Jr. up.
Feel That Fire led all the way to a 3/4-length victory over D'Wild Ride in Sunday's $75,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes for fillies and mares. Bronx City finished third. Feel That Fire, with Jose Valdivia Jr. in the irons, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.37. The winner is a Florida-bred Lightnin and Thunder filly.
Here Comes Ben shook loose from the pace battle at the top of the lane in Friday night's $57,000 Kelly's Landing Stakes and shook clear to win by 3 1/4 lengths. The odds-on favorite, Captain Cherokee, held on for second with A Diehl reporting home third. Here Comes Ben, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of Street Cry, ran the 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.26 with Jon Court at the controls.
Saturday's Prairie State Festival featured perfect weather, an impressive fundraiser for the retired race horse organization Galloping Out and six races, each worth $100,000 and limited to Illinois-registered horses.
Shrewd Operator was quickly out front in the 6-furlong White Oak Handicap, extended the advantage and scooted home first by 9 lengths with River Bear second and Big Looie third. With Eddie Perez up, the 7-year-old Twining gelding was clocked in 1:09.89 over the all-weather.
Wild Hope saved ground early in the 6-furlong Isaac Murphy Handicap for distaffers, came out for room and rallied past tiring leaders to win by 2 lengths over Kel's Dreamer. The favorite, Cruise, settled for third. Wild Hope, a 4-year-old Quaker Ridge filly, was clocked in 1:12.42 on the all-weather with Tanner Riggs riding.
Our Lady in Red wore down pacesetter City Rap in the final strides to win the Purple Violet for 3-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the main track. Third Chance finished third. Our Lady in Red, a Pioneering filly, was clocked in 1:39.47 with Julio Felix in the irons.
Hydro Power got the lead in the 1-mile Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds, shook off a challenge on the turn and found a second wind in the stretch to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Forbidden Forest. Rivershire was a longshot third. Hydro Power, an Aptitude colt, finished in 1:38.56 with Brian Hernandez Jr. up.
Moving to the lush Arlington lawn, rated "good" after a soggy spring, Peyote Patty made all the going in the 1 1/16-mile Lincoln Heritage Stakes for fillies and mares, opened a daylight lead and staved off the late bid of Pathway to win by 1 length. Dundalk Dust finished third. Peyote Patty, a 6-year-old Cactus Ridge mare, finished in 1:43.84 with Timothy Thornton riding.
Tazz led all the way to score a mild upset in the 1 1/16-mile Black Tie Affair Handicap to cap the day's stakes, winning by 1/2 length over Princeville Condo with Free Fighter third. Corey Nakatani rode Tazz, a 5-year-old Roar of the Tiger gelding, finishing in 1:43.69.
Trainer Chris Block saddled Shrewd Operator and Peyote Patty to victory and now has 19 wins in Prairie State Festival competition over the years. No other trainer had more than one winner among Saturday's stakes events.
Calder Race Course
Mambo Meister took charge in the stretch in Saturday's $55,000 Mecke Stakes, drawing off nicely to win by 4 lengths as the heavy, odds-on favorite. John Johny Jak finished second with Wingedlie third. Mambo Meister, a 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred King Cougat gelding, covered the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:53.05 under Fernando Jara.
Supreme came four-wide to get running room in the stretch drive of Saturday's $50,000 Buckland Stakes for fillies and mares and got the job done, besting Toni's the Won by 1/2 length. What She Said came from well off the pace to finish third at long odds. Supreme, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Empire Maker filly, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:02.90 with Luis Garcia up.
Wando Woman rallied from last of eight to post a big upset win in Saturday's $50,000 (Canadian) Vancouver Sun Handicap, beating odds-on favorite Caged Mistress by 3/4 length. P.S. Touchdown finished third. Wando Woman, a 4-year-old, British Columbia-bred daughter of Wando, was clocked in 1:44.46 for the 1 1/16 miles on a sloppy, sealed track. Francisco Fuentes rode the winner.
Victoryasecret dueled favorite Lady Railrider into submission in Saturday's $50,000 Alameda County Fillies and Mares Handicap, then held off a late bid by City to City and win by a neck. Lady Railrider tenaciously finished third, another neck in arrears. Victoryasecret, a 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred Victory Gallop mare, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.93 with Kevin Krigger up.
Startin Something battled odds-on favorite School Lass all the way around in Saturday's $50,000 Cincinnatian for 3-year-old, Ohio-bred fillies, holding on at the end to win by a neck. Flopsy ran third the whole way and finished in that position. Startin Something, a daughter of Musical Dreamer, got the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:48.54 with Cesar Camaque handling the reins.
Elusive Noise set a pressured pace in Sunday's $50,000 Irish Day Handicap for 3-year-old fillies but held on at the end to win by 1/2 length over Class Included. For You My Heart applied the early pressure and stayed for third. Elusive Noise, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Elusive Quality, ran the 1 mile on a fast track in 1:37.11 with Juan Gutierrez up.
Ranier Ice got home first in Sunday's $50,000 Pepsi Cola Handicap for 3-year-old colts and geldings but was set down to fourth for interfering with Zayda and causing a chain reaction in deep stretch. Zada, a Kentucky-bred Bluegrass Cat colt, was promoted to the win, with Winter Warlock and Showme Yourfriends taking second and third. The 1 mile went in 1:36.90.
My Homey got home first in Sunday's $150,000 Mountain Top Futurity for New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds, leading most of the way and hanging on by a neck over Gerda's Home. Band of Glory finished third. My Homey, a chestnut gelding by The Way Home, ran 5 furlongs on a fast track in 59.84 seconds with Jorge Bourdieu riding.
Bev's Fast Lane pressed the pace in Sunday's $85,000 C.O. "Ken" Kendrick Memorial for 2-year-old New Mexico-bred fillies, rallied to the lead in the stretch and won by 1 1/2 lengths over the odds-on favorite, Miss Bullette. Rio Fresco finished third. Bev's Fast Lane, a daughter of Devon Lane, finished 4 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 52.50 seconds under Casey Lambert.