Horse racing fans will have the chance to meet Eurico Rosa Da Silva on Saturday when Woodbine will celebrate the career of the six-time Sovereign Award-winning jockey a week before he hangs up his tack.
Da Silva, who has dominated the jockey standings for the last four years at Woodbine and will retire from racing after the season finale on December 15, will be available to meet fans and sign autographs on Saturday before the racing program. The meet and greet session will take place early at 11:30 a.m. to approximately 12 noon on the second floor of the grandstand near Guest Experience Central.
The first 250 guests to visit the nearby booth will receive a limited-edition t-shirt with Da Silva’s popular catchphrase “Good Luck To Everybody” for a minimum donation of $5 to LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, a charity close to the horseman’s heart. The t-shirts were designed in partnership with Old Smoke Clothing Co., and will be available to purchase for $40 on Monday at www.oldsmokeclothing.com.
Fans will also have the opportunity to share their own good luck messages with Da Silva by signing a keepsake poster for the reinsman.
Woodbine will make a special presentation to Da Silva in the winner’s circle during the racing program, which gets underway at 1:05 p.m. Da Silva is scheduled to ride in nine of the afternoon’s 12 races.
HEADING INTO FRIDAY’S card at Woodbine, there are 7 cards left in the 2019 season, the Trainer’s race is tight. NORM MCKNIGHT leads by 3 wins over Mark Casse 92 – 89.
There are 33 races carded for the next 3 days of racing including a 13-race card on Sunday.
There is no stakes race on Saturday but 2-year-old fillies compete in the Ontario Lassie Stakes on Sunday, a $125,000 event for Ontario-bred gals.
Chiefswood Stable’ homebred Cool Shadows, a two-year-old daughter of Munnings, chases her third consecutive score.
“She’s a good-feeling filly,” noted trainer Stuart Simon. “We’ve been really happy with the way she’s progressed over her three races.”
After a third-place debut at 20-1 on September 1 in a six-furlong maiden special weight race contested over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, the dark bay was tabbed as the 2-1 favourite on September 27 in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight, also run on the Woodbine grass.
Recovering after brushing the gate, Cool Shadows, with Jerome Lermyte in the irons, held a head advantage at Robert Geller’s stretch call, going on to win by a length over ‘firm’ going in a time of 1:15.20.
Cool Shadows was then cast in the role of longshot for the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth Stakes on October 26.
Off a step slowly in the main track feature, she rallied rally impressively to notch a neck win over Merveilleux, who is also slated to start in the Ontario Lassie, as is third-place finisher Avie’s Samurai. Curlin’s Voyage, fourth as the 2-5 choice in the Princess Elizabeth, is also in to run.
“She’s always been a nice filly,” praised Simon. “She’s run well on different surfaces and used different running styles to be successful. Up close and winning, then from last to win, short and long – she’s done extremely well.
“She has such a professional attitude when she’s racing. She can lay anywhere. You can put her in any spot and feel comfortable. She has good tactical speed if you want to use it, she’ll relax and come off the bridle, and then come running. You can do anything you want with her… it’s nice to have that in a horse.”
Cool Shadows will head for sunnier climes soon, spending the winter in Florida before shipping back to Woodbine for the 2020 campaign.
Simon is hoping to see his young charge continue to develop ahead of her three-year-old season.
“She’s going to come down south after. We always want explore things with our young horses down here on the dirt and see what path it takes us on. We’ll take it one race at a time. She’ll run in Florida and we’ll see where that takes us.”
It’s been a solid 2019 for Simon, who eclipsed the 800 career-win mark. To date, the barn has won seven stakes this year along with 19 top-three finishes from 36 added-money starts.
“It’s been a good year,” said Simon, who has nearly $12.7 million in lifetime in purse earnings. “We’ve developed some good young horses – it’s been great in that sense, that we’ve raised some nice young talent. That’s what every sports team wants to accomplish.”
Trainer Catherine Day Phillips has won the past two editions of the Ontario Lassie, with Dixie Moon in 2017 and Artilena in 2018. Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson has taken three of the past five runnings of the race: in 2014 with London Tower, in 2015 with Sparkles’ Girl and last year with Artilena. Wilson also won the 2005 renewal with Our Madison.
Donver Stables’ Inglorious, winner of the 2010 Ontario Lassie, went on to win the 2011 Queen’s Plate. Girls ‘L Be Girls won the inaugural running in 1979.
The Ontario Lassie is carded as race nine on Sunday’s 13-race program. First post is 1:05 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action through HPIBet.com.
$125,000 Ontario Lassie Stakes
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Merveilleux – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard
2 – November Fog – Justin Stein – Sarah Ritchie
3 – The Pink Pegasus – Jeffrey Alderson – Kendra Wieczorek
4 – Avie’s Samurai – Kazushi Kimura – Josie Carroll
5 – Curlin’s Voyage – Patrick Husbands – Josie Carroll
6 – Cool Shadows – Jerome Lermyte – Stuart Simon