Bessarabian Stakes headline Woodbine's Sunday programme
Trainer Mike De Paulo will be looking to play spoiler in Sunday afternoon’s $175,000 Bessarabian Stakes (Grade 2) at Woodbine with a pair of lightly raced fillies heading into the seven-furlong sprint in good form.
The youngest in the field of nine fillies and mares, Sister Nation enters the Bessarabian Stakes off back-to-back wins for De Paulo, including an October 8 victory in the Ruling Angel Stakes over 6-1/2 furlongs following some time off. Eurico Rosa Da Silva was aboard for that victory and retains the mount in Sunday’s feature race.
“She’s a pretty good filly. She’s had a little bit of bad luck, but she seems to be going the right way now,” said De Paulo. “She’s a three-year-old running against older so we’re getting a little bit of weight on some of the tougher fillies, and this is a graded stakes. It would be great if we could win a graded stakes with her.”
Owned by Mark Dodson, the Into Mischief-Evita’s Sister filly is graded stakes placed in the Selene this past spring and has hit the board a total of seven times in nine career starts while banking over $140,000.
“She’s doing great,” said De Paulo. “We’ve given her some time and sort of pointed for this race. And we got the lead rider on so hopefully he can get it done.”
A recent acquisition by owner Robert Marzilli at the Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age Sale, the De Paulo-trained broodmare prospect Liberty Kitten has made three starts for her new connections with David Moran aboard. After racing up front for most of the mile, the four-year-old Kitten’s Joy-Lone Tigress filly was beat by just a nose last time out (October 20) on the turf.
“Kitten’s Joy is a real good sire and we were looking for some black type and this is a spot that we thought we’d maybe try,” said De Paulo. “And again, it’s graded. We’re hoping to get some graded black type.”
A career earner of over $80,000, Liberty Kitten has won two of her nine races. De Paulo reported she has been coming along very well since joining his stable.
“I think she’s a pretty honest filly and she seems to have gotten better with each start,” he said. “And seven-eighths looks like it’s a pretty good distance for her so we’re hoping for a big race out of her.”
Sister Nation has been assessed at odds of 10-1 while Liberty Kitten is 20-1 on the morning line. The stablemates will start side-by-side from posts five and six, respectively.
Moonlit Promise is the 6-5 morning line favourite in the Bessarabian following back-to-back stakes wins, with Gary Boulanger listed to ride for trainer Josie Carroll and owners Hill ‘n Dale Equine Holdings Inc. and Windsor Boys Racing. Undefeated in her four-year-old campaign, the Malibu Moon filly won the Sweet Briar Too Stakes on September 17 and is coming off a Grade 3 stakes win in the Ontario Fashion on October 28.
Just a neck shy of taking the 2016 Bessarabian title, KMN Racing’s Minks Aprise returns for another shot, this time racing from the Roger Attfield stable. The five-year-old Northern Afleet-Couturier mare, who is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line, boasts a victory in the Trillium Stakes earlier this year and runner-up Grade 3 finishes in the Hendrie and recent Ontario Fashion behind Moonlit Promise.
Other contenders include supplemental entry Boreale and the streaking Scotty’s Model as well as Perdona, Sugar Jones and Crumlin Spirit.
Here is a look at the complete field for Sunday’s Bessarabian Stakes (Grade 2), which is scheduled as race eight on the 1 p.m. program:
$175,000 Bessarabian Stakes (Grade 2)
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer – Morning Line Odds
1. Sugar Jones – Luis Contreras – Michael Mattine – 20-1
2. Perdona – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Kelly Rubley – 12-1
3. Moonlit Promise – Gary Boulanger – Josie Carroll – 6-5
4. Crumlin Spirit – Slade Callaghan – Michael Doyle – 20-1
5. Sister Nation – Eurcio Rosa Da Silva – Michael De Paulo –10-1
6. Liberty Kitten – David Moran – Michael De Paulo – 20-1
7. Boreale (S) – Steve Bahen – Graham Motion – 5-1
8. Minks Aprise – Jesse Campbell – Roger Attfield – 4-1
9. Scotty’s Model – Rafael Hernandez – Norm McKnight – 6-1