The field for the 70th WOODBINE OAKS is coming together and since there is no standout Canadian-bred three-year-old filly, the field will probably number a dozen with perhaps four from the Kevin Attard stable.

The Oaks is July 20, four weeks before the 165th King’s Plate (for Canadian-bred three-year-olds, boys and girls) and on the same day as the Plate Trial Stakes. That race has 12 nominees but some trainers of Plate contenders were caught off guard Monday when the latest condition book did not have a single allowance race at a route distance.


Canadian Thoroughbred‘s number 1 contender for the  Oaks, DAZZLING MOVE, will by-pass the race and instead will race in the Wilton Stakes at Saratoga on July 12. The Wilton is a one-turn, one mile dirt race.

Owner Marc Tacher told Canadian Thoroughbred that the distance, surface and competition were question marks for the daughter of Not This Time.

However, Ontario breeder Jesse Korona, who bred Dazzling Move, could still have a horse to cheer for in the $500,000 race.

Trainer KEVIN ATTARD hinted that while CAITLINHERGRTNESS would be coming back in just two weeks from her win on turf Saturday, the daughter of Omaha Beach – Belatrix by Giant’s Causeway could contest the 1 1/8 mile Oaks if she bounces back sharply from the victory.

Caitlinhergrtness, owned by  Siena Farm LLC and WinStar, came off a February-to-July layoff and won a 7 1/2 furlong inner turf optional claiming event on July 6 by 2 3/4 lengths with a 79 Beyer Speed Figure according to Daily Racing Form. At two last year, the filly won a one mile dirt race at Aqueduct and was fourth in the Tempted Stakes.

“We’ll play it by ear,” said Attard. “We had talked about the Oaks for her before this win.”

Attard will saddle one of the favourites for the Oaks, WAR PAINTER, the Ontario-sired filly owned by the relatively new syndicate, Canuck Racing Club. A stakes winner of the Victoria Queen last year and second by a head in the Princess Elizabeth, War Painter (Danish Dynaformer – Morning Tale by Tale of Ekati) is a nose away from winning both her races this year.

“She’s a nice filly, just a little bit frustrating,” said Attard about War Painter’s tendency to not pass horses in deep stretch. “She had a good work with [Horse of the Year] Moira, she stayed head-and-head with her. And I was really happy with her work last weekend. We got her to track two other horses and encouraged her to go by them.”

War Painter sizzled 5 furlongs in 58.80 in that prep on July 6.

War Painter will need a rider for the Oaks as Kazushi Kimura will already be at Del Mar for the summer by then.

Another Attard student, INUDATION, the Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner and early Oaks favourite, will have a key workout Wednesday to see if she is headed to the Oaks as a top player. The daughter of Collected – Tidal Surge by Bernardini trailed in her three-year-old debut on June 22.

“It hasn’t been her year,” said Attard. “She hasn’t seemed to take the next step but we also lost a little time with her. She will have blinkers on for the workout this week.”

And a fourth Attard student, John Fielding’s MY GIRL DELLA (Madaglia d’Oro – Katie Baby by Curlin), will look to build on her maiden win on June 1 when she won nicely with a 79 Beyer Figure. The filly came back with an even, fourth place finish in an allowance/optional race on June 22.

Kentucky-based BA DEE YAH (as in the song ‘September’ by Earth, Wind and Fire)  owned by Bill and Mary Stone, Rod Ratcliff and Denise Murray’s Gold Standard Racing and trained by Tom Amoss, is headed north. She had a workout at Churchill Downs on July 2, 48.60, on the dirt and is a stakes winner around two turns at Fair Grounds. The Uncle Mo – Pearl Turn by Bernardini filly has not tried an all weather surface like Woodbine’s Tapeta nor has she worked over it.

Ba Dee Yah is a half-sister to Canadian two-year-old champion Gretzky the Great.

Chiefswood Stable has a contender in KIN’S CONCERTO (Mendelssohn – Kincardine by Fusaichi Pegasus), trained by Josie Carroll. This filly has never crossed the finish line on top (she was placed first through disqualification in her career debut at 6 furlongs last fall) but she was second by a head to a good US-bred filly in her latest.

HURRICANE CLAIR (Silent Name (Jpn) – Hurricane Lorraine by Weather Warning), recently a winner around two turns on the inner turf, is a player for the Alberta connections of David Robothom and partners.

And perhaps the only Oaks starter for the leading barn of Mark Casse will be Conrad Farms’ LUNCH WITH BERNIE (Bernardini – Lunch Hour by Medaglia D’Oro) who has been third and fourth in her two sprint races this year.


1. BA DEE YAH –  Tom Amoss, Kentucky Based Stakes Winner, Has not tried Tapeta

2. WAR PAINTER – Kevin Attard, Stakes winner comes off win

3.  KIN’S CONCERTO – Josie Carroll, 2nd in recent allowance

4. INUDATION – Kevin Attard, Won Princess Elizabeth last year, flopped in 2024 opener

5. HURRICANE CLAIR – Martin Drexler, won a 2-turn turf test

6. CAITLINHERGRTNESS – Kevin Attard, won at 2 turns on turf last weekend

7. MY GIRL DELLA – Kevin Attard,  maiden winner slowly improving

8. LUNCH WITH BERNIE – Mark Casse,  3rd Fury Stakes

9 A LITTLE FRISKY – Josie Carroll, Stakes winner at 2

10 BRAVO KATE – Sid Attard, 4th Fury Stakes

11 BEAUTIFUL SKY – Mike DePaulo, 2nd maiden race vs older horses

12 LOOKIN TO CONQUER – Martin Hinckson, Supplement, 3rd allowance race

13 HOLIDAY IN JAIL, Robert Tiller , 3rd to War Painter

KING’S PLATE – August 17

The Plate Trial Stakes on July 20 (Oaks day) is the final stakes event/stepping stone to the big event but customarily, there is at least one other race of the allowance/optional claiming variety around the same time that horses can use towards the Plate as a prep.

When the latest Woodbine condition book came out Sunday night, however, there wasn’t one race for three-year-olds or three-year-olds and upward at a route distance that was not for claiming or on grass.

“I was very disappointed,” said Attard, echoing several other trainers with Plate hopefuls. “We are developing horses to come into the Plate and some you don’t want to throw into the fire right away [before the Plate].”

Indeed, many racing fans would agree it is more interesting to have the Plate field be a mixture of horses from various races, rather than just the Trial.

“We are being forced to run in the Trial,’ said Attard.

Two of his Plate contenders, PIERRE and JOKESTAR, are nominated to the Trial and both are owned by Al and Bill Ulwelling. The pair were second and third in an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on June 23.

“I’m pretty high on Pierre, he’s improving. And Jokestar is a bit of a plodder and he will run all day.”

The 12 nominees for the Plate Trial include Champion Two-year-old MY BOY PRINCE, the current Plate favourite who will be trying 1 1/8 miles for the first time.

FRIENDLY GHOST, who won his maiden in his 2024 opener and ROSCAR, sixth in the Queenston Stakes, are examples of a couple of lightly raced three-year-olds seeking another race other than the Trial to use towards the Plate.