Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year, MOIRA, a newly turned four-year-old filly, will make her 2023 debut in the Grade 3 Belle Mahone Stakes at Woodbine on June 3. The Belle Mahone is one of two stakes races on Saturday and another two are scheduled for Sunday.

Moira, the Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks winner last year for X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables and SF Bloodstock and trained by Kevin Attard, drew post 1 in a nine-horse field for the 1 1/16 mile Belle Mahone, which is run on Tapeta.

The Belle Mahone, named for the 1917 King’s Plate winner, a filly owned and bred by Joseph Seagram, was first run in 1956 when Woodbine opened. It was not run for four years, 1998-2001, not held again in 2005, and this year’s running is a Grade 3, up from listed status.

Moira will have a new rider on Saturday as Kazushi Kimura replaces Rafael Hernandez.

Trainer Attard has been sending out the impressive daughter of Ghostzapper for a number of five-furlong workouts, plus a fast six furlong prep in 1:11.40, since she returned from winter training at Margaux Farm in Kentucky.

“We’re all excited to see Moira start her season,” said Attard. “She’s obviously a very special and extremely talented individual. She had a great winter and she’s looked sharp ahead of this race. She’s continued to mature, and hopefully she can start things off on a winning note.”

Moira will be tough to beat in the Belle Mahone but among the top runners she will meet is SOUPER HOITY TOITY, winner of three stakes races, two graded, last year for Live Oak Plantation, and graded stakes winner IL MALOCCHIO.


JOHN VELAZQUEZ, one of the world’s most successful riders, is named to ride Bridlewood Farms’ BAY STORM  in the Grade 3 Royal North Stakes, race 7, on Saturday. The 6 1/2 furlong turf dash is named for a stakes-winning filly owned by Jack Stafford.

Bay Storm is a multiple stakes winner of over $578,000 and comes to Woodbine for trainer Jonathan Thomas off a second-place finish to the brilliant Caravel in the Unbridled Sidney Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 5.



1 1/16 miles; Saturday, June 3, Race 8, Woodbine
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Moira – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard

2 – Batyah – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll

3 – Souper Hoity Toity – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse

4 – Sister Seagull – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Catherine Day Phillips

5 – Il Malocchio – Sahin Civaci – Martin Drexler

6 – Missy Greer – Declan Carroll – Danny Gargan

7 – Purrfect – Ryan Munger – Michael Stidham

8 – Saratoga Vision – Jeffrey Alderson – Alexander Patykewich

9 – Keyflower (FR) – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse