Trainer Charlie Appleby has a remarkable record at Woodbine, with his last seven starters here heading back to England with Grade 1 victories.
On Saturday, Appleby will be looking for his third success in the Grade 1 Johnnie Walker Natalma Stakes when he sends out Dazzling Star (GB) in the $500,000, one-mile turf race.
The Natalma also is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, a Grade 1 race over the same distance which will be run at Santa Anita on November 3. Fifteen fillies have been listed with four cross-entered for Saturday’s bet365 Summer Stakes.
“It is a race which we like to target each year, and she has a similar profile to our other fillies who we have run in the past with success,” said Appleby, whose previous Natalma scores came with Wild Beauty (GB) in 2021 and La Pelosa (IRE) in 2018.
Dazzling Star races for the powerhouse owner/breeder Godolphin, who has provided five of Appleby’s Woodbine winners. The daughter of Blue Point and Dancing Sands has seen action three times, all in six-furlong races, with the two most recent being straightaway turf runs.
Appleby, noting that the Natalma has been on Dazzling Star’s dance card since her last-out fourth-place finish in Ascot’s Group 3 Princess Margaret on July 29, acknowledges that the Natalma’s one-mile trip around one left-handed turn poses a new challenge for his promising charge.
“It is an unknown, but she settles well in her work at home and her half-brother (the 3-year-old Bold Act) has won over 10 furlongs,” said the trainer. “(The E.P. Taylor turf) is a fair track which should only help her.”
William Buick, who guided Modern Games to victory in last year’s Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and Mysterious Night to success in the same day’s Grade 1 Summer Stakes, will do the honours on the current pair of Appleby invaders, which also includes Woodbine Mile favourite Master of the Seas (IRE).
Ozara (IRE), a maiden winner over 1 1/16 miles of “good” Saratoga turf in her only career start on August 6, will be stepping into stakes company for owner Cheyenne Stable LLC and trainer Christophe Clement.
“To be completely honest, we’ve been looking at this race for her ever since she broke her maiden,” said Miguel Clement, son and assistant to the trainer. “We were strongly considering a Kentucky Downs race or the Natalma, and we decided to go with the Natalma and we’re probably a little more at ease with the Woodbine course than we were with Kentucky Downs.”
Although Ozara was sent off at 12-1 in that debut, Clement said her success was no huge surprise for her connections.
“We liked this horse from day one. She’d been working well on the grass, and we were actually quite confident in her,” he said. “She’s a gutsy little filly, with tactical speed and a turn of foot that makes her very dangerous.”
The Clement outfit finished second in the 2021 edition of the Natalma with Pizza Bianca, who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Trainer Mark Casse will be looking for his eighth victory in the Natalma, the most recent coming with Victory to Victory in 2016 and has entered a quartet of Golden Canary, Go With Gusto, Ready to Jam and Dancing Duchess.
Golden Canary and Go With Gusto are cross-entered in the Summer Stakes, the Grade 1, one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds, which also is part of the “Win and You’re In” series.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber, Golden Canary defeated males to win the Soaring Free over 6 ½ furlongs of turf here on August 20. Dancing Duchess finished a neck back as the runner-up.
Airosa, conditioned by Kevin Attard, won the Catch A Glimpse, a 6 ½-furlong turf race named in honour of Casse’s Natalma and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner.
Attard also has entered Bolt Enoree and Rhapsody, with Airosa and Bold Enoree cross-entered in the Summer.
Dea Matrona (FR), making her first North American start for new trainer Chad Brown, also will invade from south of the border along with Brocknardini, She Feels Pretty, Ms. Tart, and She’s Fire.
$500,000 Johnnie Walker Natalma (Grade 1) – Race 8
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Dazzling Star (GB) – William Buick – Charlie Appleby
2 – Bolt Enoree – Patrick Husbands – Kevin Attard
3 – Dancing Duchess – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
4 – Brocknardini – Declan Carroll – George Weaver
5 – Ms. Tart – Antonio Gallardo – Todd Beattie
6 – Airosa – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard
7 – Simply in Front – Jose Campos – Patrick Dixon
8 – Ready to Jam – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
9 – Go With Gusto – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
10 – She’s Fire – Addiel Ayala – Kevin Rice
11 – She Feels Pretty – John Velazquez – Cherie DeVaux
12 – Ozara (IRE) – Dylan Davis – Christophe Clement
13 – Dea Matrona (FR) – Joel Rosario – Chad Brown
14 – Golden Canary – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
15 – Rhapsody – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard
~ Bill Tallon for Woodbine Communications
My Boy Prince tries deeper waters in Woodbine’s Grade 1 bet365 Summer Stakes
My Boy Prince, who turned plenty of heads with his runaway victory in Woodbine’s Simcoe Stakes, will look to boost his status in Saturday’s bet365 Summer Stakes (G1T).
The winner of the $500,000 Summer, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds, will earn a fee-paid berth for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, a one-mile race which will be run at Santa Anita on November 3.
“I’m really excited to see My Boy Prince run, “said Mark Casse, who conditions the son of Cairo Prince and Hopping Not Hoping for owner Gary Barber. “We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of nice horses, and I would say that as far as young horses go, he’s the first horse since Wonder Wheel (winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Eclipse Award champion of her division) to kind of get me really excited.”
My Boy Prince was the $115,000 (CDN) sales-topper at the CTHS premier local yearling sale. The Ontario-bred has raced three times, all on Woodbine’s Tapeta surface, graduating impressively in his second appearance before his 14-length romp in the 6 ½-furlong Simcoe for yearling sales graduates on August 27.
“I have no idea how he will handle the turf, but my experience with Cairo Princes is they normally move up on the turf,” said Casse.
Woodbine’s perennial leading trainer has captured four previous runnings of the Summer, the most recent with Gretzky the Great in 2020. He also has entered Souper Attentive, Go With Gusto, Golden Canary and King of the Track for the Summer. Go With Canary and Go With Gusto are cross-entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Natalma for 2-year-old fillies.
Joel Rosario has the call on My Boy Prince and is also named on Go With Gusto, who finished first in her only start to date only to have her number taken down.
Carson’s Run, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Steven Bouchey, has been solid in his two career starts at Saratoga and looms a serious threat for the barn of trainer Christophe Clement.
Both outings came over 1 1/16 miles of grass and include a game maiden win on August 6 and a second-place finish in a competitive renewal of the Grade 3 With Anticipation on August 31.
“I thought he ran a great race, and he came out of the race very well,” said Miguel Clement, son and assistant to Christophe Clement, who won the 2019 Summer with Decorated Invader.
“To be honest, we hadn’t been thinking about the Summer but since he came out of the race in such great shape and we were coming there with Ozara (for Saturday’s Natalma Stakes), we decided we might as well make it a van full. This race is appealing because of the Grade 1 status, if not for anything else.”
Dylan Davis retains the mount on Carson’s Run.
Trainer Kevin Attard has entered Bucyk, Bold Enoree and Airosa for the Summer with the latter-named pair also entered in the Natalma.
Airosa captured the Catch A Glimpse, a 6 ½-furlong turf race for fillies, for her second straight win after finishing fourth in her debut.
Attard won the 2001 Summer with El Soprano for his second career stakes win. That total has burgeoned to 88 after Velocitor registered an upset victory in Tuesday’s Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.
Rounding out the field will be last-out maiden turf winners Western Whirl and Tunechi.
$500,000 bet365 Summer (Grade 1) – Race 6
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Souper Attentive – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
2 – Carson’s Run – Dylan Davis – Christophe Clement
3 – My Boy Prince – Joel Rosario – Mark Casse
4 – Tunechi – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Barbara Minshall
5 – Go With Gusto – Joel Rosario – Mark Casse
6 – Bolt Enoree – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard
7 – Airosa – John Velazquez – Kevin Attard
8 – Western Whirl – Rico Walcott – Stuart Simon
9 – Bucyk – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard
10 – Golden Canary – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
11 – King of the Track – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
~ Bill Tallon for Woodbine Communications