TORONTO, June 22, 2023 — Grade 1 winner Last Call returns to the turf for Saturday’s 6 ½-furlong Alywow Stakes at Woodbine, a race that also attracted Brendan Walsh trainee Secret Money.
Nine 3-year-old fillies, including Last Call, last year’s upset winner of the Natalma (G1T), a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ event, will take to the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in the $100,000 Alywow.
Trained by Kevin Attard for X-Men Racing 2 LLC and SF Racing LLC, the daughter of English Channel-Over Served, who was a finalist for Canada’s champion 2-year-old female award, heads into her latest test off a second in the Ruling Angel Stakes, a seven-furlong Tapeta race run on May 20 at Woodbine.
“It was good to get her 3-year-old season underway with the second in the Ruling Angel and now we’ll get her back on the turf,” said Attard, who is closing in on 700 career wins. “She’s been working well and we’re hoping she can get it done on Sunday.”
A $30,000 (U.S.) purchase at the 2021 Keeneland Association September Yearling Sale, Last Call had a prosperous rookie campaign, one that produced a win and a second from four starts.
The chestnut filly, bred in Kentucky by English Channel Co-Owners and Jodi Cantwell, debuted on July 23, and finished second behind eventual Canadian 2-year-old champion filly Cairo Consort in a 6 ½-furlong sprint over the E.P. Taylor turf.
After a fourth one month later in a seven-furlong tilt over the same course, Last Call broke her maiden in style with a one-length victory in the Natalma. She was then sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, 5 ½ lengths back of the winner.
“We had a belief in her before she even raced,” said Attard. “The way she worked, her mindset and her ability to handle and adapt to any new things was obvious from the start. She had a very good runner-up effort in her first start. Her second race, she was a little headstrong, but she came back to win the Natalma in impressive fashion. We took the blinkers off for the Natalma and it worked out as we hoped. She went off at 21-1, but she ran with the confidence of a favourite. She was off a bit slow in the Breeders’ Cup, but she was still game and ran a decent race.”
Secret Money will make her first start outside of the U.S. for owners Fortune Farm LLC (Richard Nicolai), Robert Hahn and Matthew Hand.
The daughter of Good Samaritan-Awesome Humor comes into the Alywow riding a two-race win streak, her latest victory coming in a 5 ½-furlong turf race at Churchill Downs on May 23. One month earlier, the bay filly broke her maiden courtesy of a half-length score at Keeneland over the same ground and distance.
Secret Money debuted on April 2 at Gulfstream where she rallied to finish fourth at five panels on the turf.
“I thought she ran well enough,” said Walsh, of her debut. “She won well in her next start at Keeneland, and she’s moved forward ever since. I thought the last one [Churchill] was very impressive because she took on winners and older fillies. I thought that was a big test for her and she came through with flying colours. She’s a nice, hard-knocking filly. She’s tough. She’s not overly big but she tries hard. She has a lot of admirable qualities.”
Now, she’ll test out her fourth different turf course in as many starts.
“She’s very adaptable, an easy filly to be around, so it shouldn’t bother her shipping up there. It’s a very good track at Woodbine. I always like to run horses there. It’s a lovely track and it’s very fair.”
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, LLC, Secret Money will be ridden by Jareth Loveberry.
Other starters include Mark Casse trainees Fearless Angel, Renegade Rebel, Ryder Ryder Ryder, and Star Candy.
Casse has won four editions of the Alywow with Road to Victory (2018), Mississippi Delta (2015), Dene Court (2012) and Silky Smooth (2007).
The Alywow is named for the talented turf performer who was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 1994 for owner Kinghaven Farms and trainer Roger Attfield. Alywow was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2009.
Listed as race seven, the Alywow is part of a nine-race Sunday card. First post is 1:10 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action through HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
$100,000 ALYWOW STAKES
1 – Star Candy – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
2 – Secret Money – Jareth Loveberry – Brendan Walsh
3 – Up and Down – Kazushi Kimura – Chad Brown
4 – Renegade Rebel – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
5 – Collecting Flatter (S) – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
6 – Mohawk Trail - Adam Beschizza – Kelsey Danner
7 – Last Call – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard
8 – Fearless Angel (S) – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
9 – Ryder Ryder Ryder – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms