Five graded stakes races highlight Woodbine’s Canada Day racing card on Saturday, ensuring sizzling action on a day that will be hot and humid.

Canadian Horse of the Year for 2022 MOIRA will be one of the stars to see on the July 1 card which gets underway at 1:10. Moira is meeting some good turf fillies and mares in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes on the grass and it would be fitting if the four-year-old filly, trained by Kevin Attard for X-Men racing, Madaket Stables and SF Bloodstock, could win. The most recent Horse of the Year to win on Canada Day was MIGHTY HEART, who won the 2021 Dominion Day Stakes (G3), the first day that fans were allowed back at the track following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also on Saturday, three-year-olds will compete in the Selene and Marine Stakes, both Grade 3s, and each race may have implications for the July 23 Woodbine Oaks and August 20 King’s Plate, respectively. You can read about the Marine Stakes here and the Selene Stakes here.

And turf sprinters will mix it up in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes at 6 furlongs while this year’s edition of the Dominion Day has an intriguing field of nine led by Eclipse Stakes (G3) winner Treason.

Moira will make the second start of her four-year-old campaign in the Nassau and the racy filly would seem to have a big chance to topple her rivals.

The daughter of Ghostzapper, who also earned champion three-year-old filly honours at the Sovereign Awards ceremony earlier this year, finished second in the Belle Mahone (G3), a neck behind Super Hoity Toity in the 1 1/16-mile main-track race.

“It would be great to see her get the win on Canada Day at her home track on one of the best turf courses in the world,” said Attard. “There’s always a big sense of pride at our barn when you can take on top-level competition and win one for the home team.”

“She’s run two strong races on the turf,” continued Attard, who won the 2017 edition of the Nassau with multiple Sovereign winner Starship Jubilee, Canada’s horse of the year in 2019. “Unfortunately, the E.P. Taylor resulted in a disqualification, but that doesn’t take away from the grit she showed and that ability to dig deep when the real running starts.

“She had a tough trip in the Breeders’ Cup, but she showed that competitive fight again. If things had worked out differently, who knows what the result could have been? She’s had some bad racing luck her past three starts, so hopefully she’s due for some better luck this time around.”

Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Moira won the 2021 Princess Elizabeth Stakes in her debut and followed it up with a second in the Mazarine (G3) to complete her two-year-old campaign.

In 2022, she captured the Fury Stakes and Woodbine Oaks before a seven-length stunner in the $1 million Plate, in which she set Woodbine’s 1 1/4-mile synthetic-track record.

Moira comes into the Nassau with an 8: 4-2-0 mark and US$995,491 in career earnings.

-with files from Woodbine media