TORONTO, June 29, 2022 – A pair of Grade 3 $150,000 stakes events, the Marine, and Selene, share the spotlight with two Grade 2 grass engagements, the $200,000 Highlander, and $175,000 Nassau, Saturday at Woodbine.
A key prep on the road to this year’s Queen’s Plate (August 21, at Woodbine), the 1 1/16-mile main track Marine, for three-year-olds, has attracted notable Canadian-breds, including Allegorical, Duke of Love, Ironstone, Lac Macaza and Rondure, whose connections are seeking a shot at Plate glory.
The Marine is complemented by the Selene, a 1 1/16-mile tilt over the Tapeta for three-year-old fillies, an important race ahead of this year’s $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser, on July 24, as well as the Highlander, for four-year-olds and upwards, at six furlongs over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, and the Nassau, for fillies and mares, four-year-olds and upwards, who will tackle one mile on the E.P. Taylor.
Hall of fame conditioner Mark Casse will be well represented in each race, including the Marine.
An Ontario-bred son of Giant Gizmo-Champagne Dynasty, Allegorical will test out the stakes ranks for the first time in his career.
Owned by Polo Management Services, the chestnut gelding sports a record of 1-2-0 from four starts.
Under Patrick Husbands, Allegorical broke his maiden last time out, earning a neck victory at 1 1/16-miles over the Woodbine Tapeta on June 4.
“I thought his last race was really good,” said Casse. “He seems to be on the improve. Obviously, we’re hoping that he has a big race ahead of the Queen’s Plate.”
He’ll be joined by Irish-bred Mannix, a chestnut son of Australia (GB)-Many Hearts, who also won his most recent start.
The D.J. Stable LLC colt, with Emma-Jayne Wilson in the irons, found daylight after being boxed in and went on to a three-quarter length win in the 1 1/16-mile main track race at Woodbine on May 22.
Mannix arrives at the Marine with a 2-1-3 mark in nine races.
“I think Mannix is a pretty nice horse,” offered Casse. “I thought his last race was extremely good. He got in some trouble and was still able to win. He’s a horse I’ve been impressed with.”
Jockey Rafael Hernandez has won the past two editions of the Marine, in 2020 with Shirl’s Speight and last year with Easy Time. Compactor won the inaugural running in 1956.
Pioneer’s Edge, a Chiefswood Stables homebred, will take on seven rivals in the Selene.
A daughter of Pioneerof the Nile-Leading Edge, the Josie Carroll trainee won first time out on May 15, taking a seven-furlong main track race by 1 ¾-lengths as the 2-1 choice.
“I’ve always quite liked her,” said Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Robert Landry, who won 2,045 career races, including the 2004 Queen’s Plate with Chiefswood’s Niigon, before taking over the reins as General Manager with Chiefswood. “She had some maturing to do, and we just gave her some time. She’s aggressive when she trains. She’s a sweetheart in the stall, but when she goes out to train, she’s a very forward horse. She just wants to go, that’s her thing.”
In her second start, Pioneer’s Edge stepped up to the stakes level, in the Fury on June 11, and just missed, finishing a head behind the highly regarded Moira in the seven-furlong event.
The original plan was not to run in the Fury, but in a two-turn allowance race.
“We weren’t going to go in the Fury,” recalled Landry. “There was a two-turn race that we wanted to get her in, but it didn’t go, and that’s why we ended up running in the Fury. I really believe she wants to run long, and the Selene will be the best way to get her a two-turn race leading up to the Oaks. She’s a very talented filly and was just unlucky, in my opinion, not to win her last race.”
Landry, who won the Oaks in 1997 with Capdiva, three years later with Catch the Ring, and in 2003 with Too Late Now, likes what he sees in the sophomore filly.
“She has a ton of ability, and a beautiful way of going, and has a presence about herself as the good ones do. We just hope she keeps developing and improving to be what we think she is.”
Casse has won a record seven Selene crowns, including the past four editions. His first Selene score came in 2001 with Dark Ending.
The Indiana native has three chances at winning his fifth straight running with Mrs. Barbara, a dark bay daughter of Bodemeister-Destroy, named Canada’s champion two-year-old female in 2021, Super Hoity Toity, a bay daughter of Uncle Mo-Town Tour, and Join the Dance, a daughter of Shackleford-Moondancer, who is 2-2-2 from seven starts.
“Super Hoity Toity hasn’t run in a while (November 28, 2021), but she’s training very well. I think she’s pretty talented. Mrs. Barbara is doing great too. Join the Dance is another nice one as well. She’s coming into the race in good order too.”
The world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf will share the spotlight with the Tapeta on Saturday, with the running of both the Highlander and Nassau.
Last year, Silent Poet won the Highlander. Sid Attard won three straight editions, with Signature Red in 2010 and 2011, and Smokey Fire in 2012.
Several horses have won two editions of the Nassau, a group that includes Belle Geste (1971-72), Eternal Search (1982-83), Radiant Ring (1991-92) and Bold Ruritana (1995-96).
Casse will send out Chuck Willis, Into the Sunrise, Olympic Runner, Tap It to Win and Turned Aside in the Highlander, and Broadway Lady, La Libertee, and Our Flash Drive running in the Nassau.
The Marine is race nine on Saturday’s 11-race card. The Selene is race seven, with the Nassau and Highlander, slated as race eight and race 10, respectively. First post time is 1:10 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
FIELD FOR THE $150,000 GRADE 3 MARINE
Post – Horse – Jockey - Trainer
1 – Ironstone – Ademar Santos – Willie Armata
2 – Allegorical – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
3 – Unraptured – Antonio Gallardo – Roger Attfield
4 – Rondure – Rafael Hernandez – Katerina Vassilieva
5 – Fuerteventura – Kazushi Kimura – Jonathan Thomas
6 – Duke of Love – Justin Stein – Josie Carroll
7 – Lac Macaza – Luis Contreras – Julia Carey
8 – Mannix (IRE) – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
FIELD FOR THE $150,000 GRADE 3 SELENE
Post – Horse – Jockey - Trainer
1 – Absolute Jewel – Daisuke Fukumoto – Michael De Paulo
2 – Pioneer’s Edge – Justin Stein – Josie Carroll
3 – Mrs. Barbara – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
4 – Ephrata (GB) – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
5 – Join the Dance – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
6 – Gizala (IRE) – Dylan Davis – Graham Motion
7 – Souper Hoity Toity – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
8 – Catiche – Kazushi Kimura – Jonathan Thomas
FIELD FOR THE $200,000 GRADE 2 HIGHLANDER
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Turned Aside – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
2 – Voodoo Zip – Dylan Davis – Christophe Clement
3 – Chuck Willis (IRE) – David Moran – Mark Casse
4 – Into the Sunrise – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
5 – Tap It to Win – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
6 – White Flag – Daisuke Fukumoto – Roger Attfield
7 – Silent Poet – Justin Stein – Nicholas Gonzalez
8 – Elektronic – Eswan Flores – Desmond Maynard
9 – Olympic Runner – Antonio Gallardo – Mark Casse
10 – Bound for Nowhere – Pablo Morales – Wesley Ward
11 – Arzak – Kazushi Kimura – Michael Trombetta
FIELD FOR THE $175,000 GRADE 2 NASSAU
Post – Horse – Jockey - Trainer
1 – Peace Seeker – Eswan Flores – Nick Nosowenko
2 – Lady Speightspeare – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Roger Attfield
3 – Plum Ali – Dylan Davis – Christophe Clement
4 – Crystal Cliffs (FR) – Rafael Hernandez – Graham Motion
5 – Lady War Machine – Justin Stein – Josie Carroll
6 – Perseverancia – Daisuke Fukumoto – Darwin Banach
7 – Broadway Lady – Antonio Gallardo – Mark Casse
8 – Our Flash Drive – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
9 – La Libertee – David Moran – Mark Casse
10 – Saratoga Vision – Luis Contreras – Alexander Patykewich
11 – Dreaming of Drew – Kazushi Kimura – Barbara Minshall
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms