Minks Aprise, making her second start for the barn of trainer Roger Attfield, rallied smartly on the outside for a going-away one length victory in Sunday's $100,000 Trillium Stakes, at Woodbine.
The Trillium, a 1 1/16 mile race for fillies and mares, attracted a field of 10 and Minks Aprise was a lukewarm 5-2 favorite.
Minks Aprise surges to victory, picture WEG and Micheal Burns Photography
Breaking alertly under jockey Rafael Hernandez, Minks Aprise was taken back off the pace and settled in some three to four lengths behind a slow pace of :25.36 and :49.78 set by uncoupled stablemate Midnight Crossing.
The pace picked up as Midnight Crossing got the six furlongs in 1:13.35 with Hot Kiss and Kylachie Queen in closest attendance.
Heading into the far turn, Hernandez asked Minks Aprise and she responded beautifully, swinging four wide into the stretch and rolling home down the middle of the racetrack to run down Ice Festival.
“With not much speed in the race I just tried to get her to relax, and close,” said Hernandez, who was riding Minks Aprise for the first time.
Ice Festival tracked the pace throughout and held for second, finishing a head before a closing Lily’s Goldie with Uchenna coming from even farther back for fourth money, beaten a total of less than two lengths.
Hot Kiss, last year’s Trilllium winter, was in front through a mile in 1:38.14 but faltered in the final furlong to finish fifth.
Sweater Weather, last year’s Trillium runner-up, was a non-threatening sixth with invaders Flipcup, Always Thinking and Kyllachy Queen rounding out the order of finish.
Finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, were Hot Kiss and Sweater Weather, the 1-2 finishers in last year’s running of the Trillium.
Minks Aprise was not among the original nominees to the Trillium and was supplemented at a cost of $2,000.
“She ran such a good race in her first race here, and she came out of it well,” said Attfield, who had sent out Minks Aprise to finish a rapidly-closing second in the 6 ½ furlong, Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes on June 4. “The owners (K M N Racing LLC) and the syndicate manager, we talked about it. I was a little concerned with the two weeks, after a long layoff. But she’d trained so well, like she was saying ‘It’s okay’, and the next race for her wasn’t for four or five weeks.”
That race is the Grade 3 Ontario Matron, a 1 1/16 mile race for fillies and mares which will be run on July 22 and is worth $125,000.
Minks Aprise , a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred, finished in 1:44.72 while notching her sixth win from 18 career starts.
She returned $7.40, $3.90, and $3.00 and topped a 4-8 exacta with Ice Festival ($8.70, $5.20) worth $62.80. The 4-8-3 trifecta of 4-8-3 completed by Lily’s Goldie ($4.10) paid off a $389.20 with Uchenna rounding out a 4-8-3-7 $1 superfecta worth $627.65.