TORONTO, August 20, 2022 – French-bred turf specialist Crystal Cliffs will try for a second consecutive victory over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course when she takes on seven fillies and mares in the Grade 2 $200,000 Canadian Stakes Presented by the Japan Racing Association, part of an outstanding Queen’s Plate undercard, Sunday at Woodbine.
The Graham Motion trainee’s last outing was the Grade 2 Nassau on July 2 when she crossed the line in a dead heat with Lady Speightspeare in an impressive debut over the world-renowned turf course.
“We love coming up to run at Woodbine, and it’s a treat getting to have a runner on that turf course,” said Motion. “Last time out she got a great ride from Rafael Hernandez and handled it really well.”
The Nassau was at one mile, and the Canadian will go at 1 1/8 miles, with Hernandez again getting the mount.
“I don’t think the extra distance will hurt her,” said Motion. “The fact it’s just one turn makes it similar, but it’s going to be a tough race against some good company.”
Crystal Cliffs has been stellar through three starts in her 5-year-old campaign, with two wins and a runner-up in three starts, pushing her career record to 4-3-2 in nine career starts for owners Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables LLC, and Wonder Stables.
Motion has won this race before, with Quidura (GB) in 2017.
The Canadian is second leg in the Ladies of the Lawn Bonus Series. A bonus of $50,000 will be awarded to the highest performing horse in three races, which began with the Grade 2 Dance Smartly, won by Wakanaka (IRE) (who won’t contest the Canadian) on July 24. The final leg, the Grade 1 $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes, goes on October 8.
Two runners from the Dance Smartly are returning for the Canadian, Fev Rover (IRE) and Ontario-bred Munnyfor Ro. The pair finished second and third, respectively, earning 7 and 5 points towards the bonus money. Ten points are given to the winner of each leg.
Other contenders include graded stakes placed Flirting Bridge (IRE), who was second in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial last time out, and Argentinian-bred Bellagamba, a multiple Grade 1 winner in her native country, coming off a win in the Big Dreyfus at Laurel Park on July 16.
The Canadian goes as race nine. First post for Queen’s Plate Sunday is 12:25 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action through HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
FIELD FOR THE GRADE 2 CANADIAN STAKES
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Munnyfor Ro – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
2 – Fev Rover (IRE) – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
3 – Crystal Cliffs (FR) – Rafael Hernandez – Graham Motion
4 – Angelou – Luis Contreras – Kevin Attard
5 – Barkin – Declan Carroll – Catherine Day Phillips
6 – Flirting Bridge (IRE) – Flavien Prat – Brendan Walsh
7 – Keyflower (FR) – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
8 – Bellagamba (ARG) – Vincent Cheminaud – Ignacio Correas, IV
Austin Stanton, for Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms