A tough and often headstrong filly, Embur’s Song has been one of Canada’s top older mares competing, for the most part, outside of the country for the last two seasons. In 2011, the Ontario-bred by Unbridled’s Song, made enough starts in Canada to qualify for a Sovereign Award. Her two wins, one second and one third record at Woodbine captured her the trophy for top older mare.
Bred by Ted Burnett’s Josham Farms, Embur’s Song was bought by Issam Fares’ Fares Farm for $170,000 at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale from Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent. She is out of the stakes-placed Bold Ruckus mare Embur Sunshine and is a half-sister to stakes winner Ten Flat and two stakes-placed runners.
The fleet dark bay did not race as a two-year-old but debuted at Keeneland for trainer Todd Pletcher in the spring of 2010 and won her debut by 13 1/4 lengths at the maiden allowance level. She raced sparingly as a three-year-old, winning twice in her four outings and placing third in the prestigious Woodbine Oaks.
In 2011, Embur’s Song began her season at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 6 in an allowance/optional claiming race but it was her first test on a dirt track and she faded to finish ninth. She would never see dirt again.
It turned out that all-weather surfaces would be the preferred ground for the bossy filly and she returned to winning form in the Grade III Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland on Aprill 22. She was so happy to get onto that track’s polytrack surface, she set a track record for 1 1/16 miles of 1:41 3/5.
The filly was eager right from the get-go in the Doubledogdare, taking a three length lead into the stretch before she started to tire. She held on to win by a neck.
“It’s whatever she wants to do,” said jockey John Velazquez about going to the lead right away. “I tried to settle her down as good as I could without fighting her too much. She wants to be where she wants to be, and hopefully I have something left to run down the lane. And she did. She held on.”
In her first Woodbine of 2011, Embur’s Song marched to a 3 1/2 length score in the Hendrie Handicap (GIII) at 6 _ furlongs, the first of three consecutive scores.
That win was followed by a win at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pennsylvania in the Windward Stakes and then, back at Woodbine, the Ontario Matron Stakes (GIII).
The dark bay finished up her season with a close second in Woodbine’s Seaway Stakes (GIII) and a third in the Bessarabian Stakes (GIII). The winner of both of those was Atlantic Hurricane, who would go on to be named Canada’s champion female sprinter, defeating Embur’s Song.
Embur’s Song’s success also brought her dam Embur Sunshine into the limelight for Josham and Yvonne Schwabe, who foals most of the Josham horses at her Persley Den Farms in Acton, ON. Embur Sunshine was nominated for outstanding broodmare.
Shannon White, a racing manager at Fares Farm, accepted the trophy for Embur’s Song at the Sovereign Award ceremony. White informed the crowd that the now-retired filly was confirmed in foal to top class stallion Giant’s Causeway.