TORONTO, July 19, 2023 – Hazelbrook, Canada’s 2022 champion female sprinter, will defend her crown in Saturday’s $150,000 Hendrie Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.
Owned by True North Stable and trained by Lorne Richards, the multiple graded stakes-winning daughter of Bayern posted a 4-2-0 mark from six starts last season en route to her Sovereign recognition. Her 2022 triumphs also included the Sweet Briar Too and Ontario Fashion (G3).
Bred in Kentucky by Mike Bilbrey, Hazelbrook will be making her first start since a second to Our Flash Drive in the Bessarabian (G2) in November.
She brings a 6-2-1 record from 10 starts, accompanied by $348,058 (U.S.) in career earnings, into the 6 ½-furlong Tapeta race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up,
“It’s time to get her going,” said Richards, who watched Hazelbrook win last year’s Hendrie by a hard-fought neck over multiple graded stakes winner Amalfi Coast, at odds of 26-1. “She spent the winter here in Ontario, at CamHaven Farms. A couple of people who work for me work there over the winter, so it was a good place to send her.”
Hazelbrook debuted with a third-place effort in a six-furlong main track race at Woodbine on November 7, 2020, in her only start of the year.
The bay returned to action the following September and proceeded to rhyme off two straight wins. After an eighth (the only time she’s finished outside the top three) in the Duchess, Hazelbrook was shut down again for the season.
“I liked her from the very start,” said Richards, in an earlier interview. “The only thing is that she’s very quirky. She has had issues with her digestive system for a while, so that’s something we’ve had to monitor closely. The clinic in Guelph told me it’s kind of like colitis. It’s something where you have to take it day-by-day, but there’s no denying she has plenty of talent. She can be high-strung, so we do our best. But I’m not going to complain. She shows up every time.”
As for her most impressive win to date, Richards can’t narrow it down to one in particular.
“I couldn’t really say because all of her races were pretty good. Hopefully, she comes up with another good one on Saturday. She should run well. When the gate opens, she tries. Hopefully, she gets a good trip with something to run at. She’s a brute. She’s a big, strong horse.”
Other starters include graded stakes-placed runners Loyalty, Sweet Enough (GB), Miss Speedy, and Baby No Worries.
Nine 3-year-old fillies will test one mile on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in the $150,000 Ontario Colleen Stakes (G3T).
Mark Casse trainee Ryder Ryder Ryder, a bay daughter of Quality Road-More Hennessey, has two wins and a second from four career starts for owner Live Oak Plantation.
The 3-year-old dark bay, bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Equine LLC, arrives at the Ontario Colleen off a fourth, one length behind the winner, in the 6 ½-furlong turf Alywow Stakes on June 25.
It was the filly’s first run over the grass.
“I was a little disappointed in her last start, but Patrick [jockey, Husbands] assures me that she likes the turf,” said Casse. “He said she was just confused, but in the gallop out, she was very strong. So, we’re going to give it another try.”
The race also features stakes winner Blind Spot, Soaring Softly Stakes (G3T) winner Queen Picasso (GB), 2022 Johnnie Walker Natalma Stakes (G1T) winner Last Call, and Alywow Stakes winner Mohawk Trail.
The Hendrie is race eight on Saturday’s 10-race card. The Ontario Colleen is slated for race seven. First post time is 1:05 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action through HPIbet.com and the DarkHorse app.
FIELD FOR THE $150,000 GRADE 3 HENDRIE
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Loyalty – Kazushi Kimura – Josie Carroll
2 – Hazelbrook – Jason Hoyte – Lorne Richards
3 – Talk to Ya Later – Ryan Munger – Ian Black
4 – Sweet Enough (GB) – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Roger Attfield
5 – Clitheroe (GB) – Rafael Hernandez – Graham Motion
6 – Miss Speedy – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
7 – Hard Edge – Eswan Flores – Stuart Simon
8 – Baby No Worries – Pablo Morales – Tim Girten
FIELD FOR THE $150,000 GRADE 3 ONTARIO COLLEEN
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Preliminary (GB) – Kazushi Kimura – Chad Brown
2 – Blind Spot – Rico Walcott – Saffie Joseph, Jr.
3 – Queen Picasso (GB) – Declan Carroll – Christophe Clement
4 – Violet Gibson (IRE) – Sahin Civaci – Saffie Joseph, Jr.
5 – Born to Boogie – Jason Hoyte – Sylvain Pion
6 – Love to Shop – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Kevin Attard
7 – Ryder Ryder Ryder – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
8 – Last Call – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard
9 – Mohawk Trail – Adam Beschizza - Kelsey Danner
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms