TORONTO, May 31, 2023 – Baby No Worries will make her second straight start at Woodbine when the 4-year-old takes on 10 filly and mare rivals in Saturday’s $175,000 Royal North (G2T), the first turf stakes race of the 2023 season. Moira, who won a pair of 2022 Sovereign Awards, including Horse of the Year, will make her 4-year-old debut in the $150,000 Belle Mahone Stakes (G3).
A bay daughter of Mr Speaker-Pajama Bottom, trained by Tim Girten, Baby No Worries finished third in the Whimsical Stakes (G3) last time out, rallying to net the show award in the six-furlong main track race for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, on May 13.
“I was happy with it,” said Girten. “She made a good run. She got pinched at the start, but I don’t think that affected her too much because of her style of coming from off the pace. The winner (Our Flash Drive) is an impressive horse, but we’re going to chase her again.”
The Chan E Brook Stables’ miss will now test out the world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course (at 6 ½ furlongs) for the first time in what will be her 16th lifetime start.
“She has developed really nicely into a very mature 4-year-old,” praised Girten. “She’s really maturing, growing up and progressing. She’s very quiet and pleasant around the barn. She keeps to herself, not a horse that demands attention. She can be protective of her stall space, that, ‘This is my house’ type of attitude. She’s got a confident presence about her.”
Bred in Kentucky by Cave Brook Farm, Baby No Worries is 3-3-4 from 15 starts, with her latest victory coming this January at Turfway Park when she came from last of 12 to post a half-length score in the six-furlong allowance race.
Purchased for $20,000 (U.S.) at the 2019 Keeneland Association November Breeding Stock Sale, Baby No Worries debuted with a pair of third-place finishes at Presque Isle in the fall of 2019.
She broke her maiden the following June, in her fifth start, also at Presque Isle. The bay made it two straight one month later at the Pennsylvania oval.
Baby No Worries finished 10th in her only grass try, a one-mile race on December 4, 2021, at Tampa Bay Downs.
“We did run her that one time on the turf as a 2-year-old. I believe she handled the surface fine. I did stretch her out that day, but this turf is very important. If she handles the turf well as well as the Tapeta, it opens up so many more options. And I think the course will suit her.”
Girten came away impressed after his first up-close look at the E.P. Taylor course.
“When I was there for the Grade 3 race, you use the walkway to get to the main track, and it looked absolutely fantastic. To see the thickness and the firmness of the turf, it looked like one of the best turf courses I’ve ever walked on. It looked beautiful.”
Other hopefuls include multiple graded stakes-placed Bay Storm, who will have John Velazquez in the irons for trainer Jonathan Thomas, and seven-time winner Adaay in Asia (GB), making her North American debut.
Moira, who recorded three wins from five starts in 2022, including victories in the Queen’s Plate (now known as the King’s Plate) and Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser, will make her 4-year-old debut in the $150,000 Belle Mahone (G3) Stakes.
Nine fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta in race eight on the card.
Trained by Kevin Attard for owners X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables, and SF Racing, Moira was crowned Canada’s Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly at the Sovereign Awards ceremony earlier this year.
Moira captured the Fury Stakes and Woodbine Oaks before an impressive seven-length score over males in the $1 million Plate, in which she shattered Woodbine’s 1 ¼-mile synthetic-track record.
“There are a lot of things that stand out from last year,” said Attard. “Watching her win the Oaks and Plate, and doing it the way she did, was so impressive. And to see the outpouring of affection from fans meant the world to all of us. And to see her efforts recognized at the Sovereigns was extremely humbling.”
The daughter of Ghostzapper completed her campaign with two grade 1 engagements, demoted from second to eighth in the E. P. Taylor Stakes (G1T) for interference, and finishing fifth in her year-end start in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) at Keeneland.
The bay breezed five furlongs on the Tapeta in 1:01.00 on May 27.
“We’re all excited to see Moira start her season,” said Attard. “She’s obviously a very special and extremely talented individual. She had a great winter and she’s looked sharp ahead of this race. She’s continued to mature, and hopefully she can start things off on a winning note.”
Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Moira won the 2021 Princess Elizabeth Stakes in her debut and followed it up with a second in the Mazarine (G3) to conclude her 2-year-old season.
“There are a lot of compliments I could come up with, but in some ways, I don’t know if I have the words to share just how special she is,” praised Attard.
Champion rider Kazushi Kimura will be aboard for the Belle Mahone.
Other starters include multiple stakes winner Il Malocchio, Godolphin homebred Purrfect, and multiple graded stakes winner Souper Hoity Toity.
The Royal North is scheduled as the seventh race on Saturday’s program. The Belle Mahone goes one race later. First post is 1:10 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action through HPIBet.com or the Dark Horse Bets app.
$175,000 ROYAL NORTH STAKES
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Imagery – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
2 – Bay Storm – John Velazquez – Jonathan Thomas
3 – Demodog – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard
4 – Millie Girl – Declan Carroll – Catherine Day Phillips
5 – Our Flash Drive – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
6 – Sweet Enough (GB) – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Roger Attfield
7 – Owen’s Tour Guide – Jose Campos – William Armata
8 – Baby No Worries – Antonio Gallardo – Tim Girten
9 – Ambassador Luna – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
10 – Adaay in Asia (GB) – Kazushi Kimura – Christophe Clement
11 – Forest Drift – Daisuke Fukumoto – Robert Tiller
$150,000 BELLE MAHONE STAKES
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Moira – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard
2 – Batyah – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
3 – Souper Hoity Toity – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
4 – Sister Seagull – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Catherine Day Phillips
5 – Il Malocchio – Sahin Civaci – Martin Drexler
6 – Missy Greer – Declan Carroll – Danny Gargan
7 – Purrfect – Ryan Munger – Michael Stidham
8 – Saratoga Vision – Jeffrey Alderson – Alexander Patykewich
9 – Keyflower (FR) – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms