Minks Aprise, a bay daughter of Northern Afleet, goes after her sixth career score in Sunday’s $100,000 Trillium Stakes, at Woodbine.
Owned by KMN Racing LLC and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Roger Attfield, the five-year-old Kentucky-bred will take on nine rivals in the 1 1/16-mile feature contested on the Toronto oval Tapeta.
Bred by Carlos Enrique Bruno, Minks Aprise will be making her second start of the campaign this weekend.
Minks Aprise winning the HBPA Stakes, picture Coady Photography
She heads into the Trillium off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes on June 4. Under Patrick Husbands, the multiple graded stakes placed mare rallied strongly down the lane in the 6 ½-furlong race, moving up from eighth spot at the stretch call to finish three-quarters of a length behind winner Code Warrior.
Last year, Minks Aprise won two races and had a pair of thirds in 10 races. One of those victories came in the H.P.B.A. Stakes at Presque Isle in October.
After a tough beginning to the race – she broke in the air and was last of 12 at the start – Minks Aprise hit her best stride late and went on to a 2 ¾-length score.
“She reared up leaving, so I just sat still on her,” said jockey Mario Pino in a DRF story. “I was told to make one run with her from wherever’s she was at. I sat until the three-eighths pole and she was running them over. I thought I had some horse to finish up. She was the best.”
Pegged as the 5-2 morning line favourite for the Trillium, Minks Aprise has not finished lower than fourth in her last five starts, the last three efforts coming at Woodbine: Grade 3 Maple Leaf, Grade 2 Bessarabian and the Grade 3 Hendrie.
After 10 consecutive starts in California, including her debut (she finished second) at Golden Gate on December 27, 2014, Minks Aprise ventured outside of the Golden State for the first time last June when she was fourth in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap at Arlington.
A win in the Trillium would be her third stakes triumph, to go along with the H.P.B.A. score and a victory in the 2016 Camilla Urso Stakes at Golden Gate last March.
Just like in the H.P.B.A., Minks Aprise had a shaky start, but rebounded to notch a 2 ¼-length win in the six-furlong added-money race.
Minks Aprise will be ridden by Rafael Hernandez on Sunday. Husbands will pilot Uchenna for trainer Mark Casse.
The Trillium is slated for race eight on the program. First post is 1 p.m.
FIELD FOR THE TRILLIUM
Post / Horse / Jockey / Trainer
1 / Midnight Crossing / Alan Garcia / Roger Attfield
2 / Kyllachy Queen / Luis Contreras / Christophe Clement
3 / Lilly’s Goldie / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Nick Gonzalez
4 / Minks Aprise / Rafael Hernandez / Roger Attfield
5 / Always Thinking / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Tom Albertrani
6 / Hot Kiss / Jesse Campbell / Mike De Paulo
7 / Uchenna / Patrick Husbands / Mark Casse
8 / Ice Festival / Davy Moran / Sid Attard
9 / Sweater Weather / Jermaine Bridgmohan / Robert Tiller
10 / Flipcup / Gary Boulanger / Bill Mott