King’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks trails heat up with running of Grade 3 Marine, Grade 3 Selene

King’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks trails heat up with running of Grade 3 Marine, Grade 3 Selene

TORONTO, June 27, 2024 – Piper’s Factor, a son of The Factor, will chase his second straight score when he goes postward in Saturday’s $150,000 HPIbet Marine Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.

The $150,000 Marine, a 1 1/16-mile main track for 3-year-olds, has drawn seven starters, as the road to The King’s Plate (August 17) shifts into high gear.

With the 165th edition of Canada’s iconic horse race less than two months away, several hopefuls will look to stamp themselves as legitimate contenders ahead of the $1 million classic.

Piper’s Factor sports a 2-2-0 mark from seven starts for owner and breeder Chiefswood Stables.

Trained by Katerina Vassilieva, the bay arrives at the Marine off an outstanding 2 ¾-length score in a 1 1/16-mile main track race at Woodbine on May 12.

“I was very happy with his effort,” said Vassilieva. “It was against older horses, and he proved himself to us. I like how he was able to relax and come off the pace. As a 2-year-old, he had a front-running style and didn’t finish quite as well. In this race, he sat patiently, waited, and finished very nicely.

“When you are thinking about a race like The King’s Plate, you want to know that you have a strong finish and go the distance. He showed some maturity in the race and that was what we were looking for.”

Piper’s Factor debuted last July at Woodbine in a six-furlong sprint over the main track. A troubled trip resulted in an eighth-place finish, 16 ¾ lengths behind the winner.

It was a decidedly different outcome in the colt’s second start, a two-length triumph at 1 1/16 miles that September.

Piper’s Factor completed his 2-year-old campaign with a pair of pleasing runner-up performances in the 1 1/16-mile Grey Stakes and 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity, on November 4 and November 25, respectively.

He launched his 3-year-old season with two starts at Gulfstream. Piper’s Factor finished eighth in a one-mile contest on the dirt on February 3 and was sixth in a 1 1/6-mile Polytrack race on March 9.

“I feel as though we had lost a little momentum after his last race here at Woodbine as a 2-year-old,” said Vassilieva, who won the 2022 Marine with Rondure. “We tried the dirt with him in Florida and that experiment didn’t go well. He didn’t seem to like the surface.

“He ran a decent race on the ‘Poly’ next time out – he was going the right way at the end of it – and we were happy enough with it. We were hoping for more, but it was nice to see him get back into form at Woodbine in his most recent start.”

Piper’s Factor, to be ridden by Kazushi Kimura in the Marine, has had a steady work tab after his May win, including a four-furlong breeze in :48.00 over the Woodbine main track on June 22.

“I would like to see a similar type of effort as his last race, to see him save some ground, have a stalking trip, come with a run at the end and finish strongly,” said Vassilieva. “We’ve been working with him every week when he’s breezing, to have him gallop out strongly so that he can emulate that in the races. He’s a very smart horse and he gains experience and confidence with each start.”

The goal is for Piper’s Factor to contest The King’s Plate.

For now, the focus is on Saturday’s engagement.

“He is a very good boy, very easy to be around and very easy to train. He’s sound and athletic, and everything you want in a good racehorse.”

Jamal “Fly” Goddard is the groom.

Other starters in the Marine include Coronation Futurity stakes winner Babbo, Woodstock stakes winner Midnight Mascot, stakes-placed Essex Serpent, and Riley Mott trainee Native Land.

TORONTO, June 27, 2024 – Saturday’s Woodbine card also includes the $150,000 Selene (G3), which has drawn seven starters, including Waves of Mischief. ​

A local prep for the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Stella Artois (July 20), the Selene, an open race for 3-year-old fillies, will mark the Canadian debut of Waves of Mischief, a daughter of Into Mischief.

Trained by Brendan Walsh for owner Qatar Racing LLC, the Kentucky-bred bay was supplemented to the 1 1/16-mile main track race. ​

Unraced at 2, Waves of Mischief broke her maiden in her career debut, a 1 1/16-mile turf race at Keeneland on April 18.

Sent off as the 5-2 choice in the 11-horse field, Waves of Mischief tipped two-wide in upper stretch and led into the final furlong before drawing off for a one-length score.

“We liked the way she had worked down in Palm Meadows over the winter and she followed through with a very nice race first time out,” said Walsh. “We were obviously very happy with how she raced that day.”

Waves of Mischief arrives at the Selene off a second-place finish in the one-mile Hilltop Stakes over the Pimlico turf on May 17.

“She ran well that day,” praised Walsh, who had a career-best 2023 campaign, which included 109 wins and over $11.4 million in purse earnings. “She had come into that race in good order, and she put in a genuine effort again. She knows her job and hopefully, she will just keep moving forward.”

Walsh expects another strong performance from Waves of Mischief on Saturday.

“I don’t think those [surface and distance] will be an issue,” said Walsh. “She has been working at Turfway over the Polytrack the whole time, which gives us an indication she can handle it very well.”

Bred by Pam & Martin Wygod, Waves of Mischief was a $575,000 purchase at the 2023 OBS Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training.

The other starters are Star Shoot Stakes winner Sabatini, Shady Well Stakes winner Shamans Girl, Fury Stakes runner-up Red Samurai, and the Mark Casse trio of Crevalle d’Oro, Golden Ghost (GB), and Mazarine Stakes (G3) winner Witwatersrand, who took the Ruling Angel Stakes last time out.

First post is 1:10 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action through and the Dark Horse Bets app.

Field for the $150,000 Marine Stakes (G3) – Race 9

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Cameo Performance – Rafael Hernandez – Brendan Walsh

2 – Piper’s Factor – Kazushi Kimura – Katerina Vassilieva

3 – Maximus Magic – Justin Stein – Norm McKnight

4 – Babbo – Eswan Flores – Sid Attard

5 – Essex Serpent – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse

6 – Midnight Mascot – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse

7 – Native Land – Adam Beschizza – Riley Mott

Field for the $150,000 Selene Stakes (G3) – Race 6

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Sabatini – Sofia Vives – Josie Carroll

2 – Shamans Girl – Ryan Munger – Harold Ladouceur

3 – Crevalle d’Oro – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse

4 – Red Samurai – Eswan Flores – Sid Attard

5 – Golden Ghost (GB) – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse

6 – Waves of Mischief – Rafael Hernandez – Brendan Walsh

7 – Witwatersrand – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications

Grace Martin
Grace Martin Communications Specialist, Woodbine Entertainment
Horse Racing - TB
About Woodbine Entertainment

Woodbine Entertainment is the largest horse racing operator in Canada, with Thoroughbred horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, and Standardbred horse racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Milton. Woodbine Entertaiment also owns and operates HPIbet, Canada’s only betting platform dedicated to horse racing. Woodbine and Mohawk Park are host to several world-class racing events including The King’s Plate, three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races, and the Pepsi North America Cup. Run without share capital, Woodbine Entertainment has a mandate to financially invest all profit back into the horse racing industry and the 25,000 jobs it supports across Ontario.   

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