Trio of Grade 3 Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack

Trio of Grade 3 Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack

HPIbet Royal North Stakes (G3T), Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3), Belle Mahone Stakes (G3)

Same old graded tune for Play the Music in Grade 3 Royal North

TORONTO, June 1, 2024 – Play the Music made it two straight graded stakes scores after taking the $135,000 HPIbet Royal North (G3T) Stakes, on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine.

Miss Speedy, a stablemate of Play the Music, lived up to her name as the 6-year-old daughter of Souper Speedy zipped to the lead in the 6 ½-furlong engagement for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, over a “firm” EP. Taylor Turf, as Howboutdemapples and Play the Music settled into second and third, respectively.

Ahead by a half-length after a quarter in :22.99, Miss Speedy was a head in front of Howboutdemapples through a half in: 45.75, as Patrick Husbands and Play the Music watched the proceedings from in fourth.

Miss Speedy looked to pull away from her pursuers in early stretch, but Play the Music powered by to take command and crossed the wire a comfortable 2 ¼-length winner in a time of 1:14.85. Secret Money finished second but was disqualified and placed seventh. Miss Speedy was elevated to second and Dolce Sopresa to third.

“She broke smart and she relaxed,” said Husbands. “I mean, I was just a passenger. As we swung for home, I was just trying to figure out if Sahin (jockey, Civaci, aboard Miss Speedy) was going to come in or go out. I just gave him about four or five strides and he stayed straight, so I took the shortest way home.”

Trained by dual Hall of Famer Mark Casse, the 4-year-old daughter of Mo Town-Hey Little Sister came into the Royal North off a superlative 4 ¼-length score in the six-furlong, main track Whimsical Stakes (G3) on May 4.

With today’s win, the bay, owned by Glassman Racing LLC, is 6-1-3 from 13 starts.

She finished ninth in her debut, the Glorious Song Stakes, at Woodbine, on November 5, 2022. Her first stakes success came in the Leinster Lightning City Stakes (Black Type) at Tampa this February.

Play the Music paid $6 for today’s win.

Bred in Kentucky by Laura McKinney, she was a $300,000 2-year-old purchase.

Pietro Moran wins first stakes, teams with Fashionably Fab for Grade 3 Belle Mahone triumph

Fashionably Fab and apprentice jockey Pietro Moran were at the top of their respective games in the $135,000 Belle Mahone (G3), on Saturday at Woodbine.  

The start of the 1 1/16-mile main track race for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, saw Solo Album get away smartly from the gate and top the charts through an opening quarter in :24.79, followed by Metaphysical and Fashionably Fab.

Solo Album remained a half-length clear of Metaphysical after a half in :48.79, as Moran, son of Woodbine journeyman David Moran, kept a patient hand with Fashionable Fab in third.

As the leaders rounded the final turn, Fashionably Fab, riding a four-race (all stakes) win streak, burst in between her foes, and set her sights on a game Solo Album.

It set the stage for a riveting back-and-forth battle down the lane, with Fashionably Fab and Moran eking out a hard-fought neck win in a time of 1:43.73. Forever Dixie came on for third and Metaphysical was fourth. Tito’s Calling and Witch Hazel were scratched.  

“The trip was perfect, but first of all I want to thank the owners and Kevin especially, everyone who has helped me along the way,” said Moran.

“She’s a special filly,” he continued. “I’ve been on her, I’ve worked her since before she ever ran her first race, I’ve worked her from the gate. We always knew she was special and I’m thankful to the owners and Kevin for giving me this opportunity. I had a good horse under me.”

Bred and owned by Terra Farms, Fashionably Fab, trained by Kevin Attard, was making her 4-year-old debut, coming off a 2023 campaign that yielded four wins and a third from seven starts.

Overall, the 4-year-old bay daughter of Silent (JPN)-Flashy’s Legacy is 8-0-2 from 12 starts.

“Obviously, she’s a nice filly,” said Attard. “I wouldn’t say it’s a surprise because she’s worked really well, but it was a big step up in company for her, leaving Ontario-sired horses and going to Grade 3 company. Fortunately for us, Pietro gave her a dream of a ride.

“Pietro’s worked for us for a few years now and not only is he a great jockey, but a better human being. I love this kid and he’s going to be a great rider. I’m just so happy that he was part of this today. He’s breezed this filly on numerous occasions, and he just gave her a masterful ride. I’m just so happy for him.”

Fashionably Fab, a Sovereign Award finalist in the Champion 3-year-old Female category, paid $16.20 for the win.


Wave goodbye: Flag Of Honour (AUS) sails to Grade 3 Jacques Cartier score

Flag Of Honour (AUS) took all the spoils in the $135,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3), a six-furlong main track race for 4-year-olds and up, Saturday at Woodbine.

Trained by Julia Carey, the 5-year-old son of American Pharoah-Godiva Rock (AUS) broke alertly under Kazushi Kimura and then seized the lead a few strides before the opening quarter reached in :23.37.

Still on top through a half in :45.90, Flag Of Honour was engaged by Step Forward into the turn for home but was able to repel the spirited challenge from the son of Speightstown.

Mid-way down the lane, the gelding began to speed away from his rivals en route to a 1 ¼-length score in a time of 1:09.79. Old Chestnut rallied to finish second, three-quarters of a length in front of Ironstone. Step Forward was a head back for fourth spot.

It was the fifth career victory, to go along with a second and a third from 10 starts for Flag Of Honour, who earned his second graded stakes triumph. Last year, the bay eked out a gutsy nose score in the Kennedy Road (G2).

Bred by Mr. G. Harvey and owned by R.M. Wanless and J.M. Wanless, Flag Of Honour arrived at the Jacques Cartier off a runner-up effort in the Thorncliffe Stakes, run at 5 ½ furlongs over the Woodbine main track, on May 5.

Sent off as the 9-5 choice, he paid $5.60 for today’s win.  

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications

Watch the race replays below

Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3):

Belle Mahone Stakes (G3):

HPIbet Royal North Stakes (G3T):

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.   

Woodbine Entertainment
555 Rexdale Blvd. Toronto, Ontario.