A fitting Canadian debut for Quidura
The consistent European-bred filly Quidura will make her Canadian debut in the $250,000 Canadian Stakes (Grade 2) featured on the Ricoh Woodbine Mile undercard this Saturday afternoon. The turf event for fillies and mares three years old and up will be contested over about 1-1/8 miles.
Owned by Gestuet Faehrhof, Quidura has never missed the board in five North American starts for trainer Graham Motion. She ended the 2016 season with back-to-back wins including the Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (Gr. 3) at Keeneland. This year, she finished third in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (Gr. 1) at Keeneland followed by runner-up finishes in the New York S. Presented by NYRA Bets (Gr. 2) at Belmont and Diana Stakes (Gr. 1), in which she was collared by star filly Lady Eli after leading most of the 1-1/8 mile on the Saratoga turf.
“She’s run up against some pretty solid competition,” said Motion. “It was kind of an odd race in the Diana, when she ended up on the lead. That wasn’t necessarily the plan, but she almost pulled it off. She got a break in the weights that day against Lady Eli.”
Quidura, picture NYRA
While she is the richest in the field with a bankroll of more than $376,000, the four-year-old Dubawi-Quetena filly is relatively lightly raced having made just two prior starts in Germany before crossing the pond, including a maiden-breaking win as a two-year-old and her only off-the-board finish, a 10th place result in the Karin Baronin von Ullmann - Schwarzgold-Rennen (Gr. 3) last spring.
“She hasn’t really been a surprise,” said Motion. “They thought that highly of her when they sent her over here. Obviously, she bled in Germany and the fact that she could come over and run on Lasix was part of the reason she came over.”
With their sights set on the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar, the connections opted to cross the border next with Quidura for the Canadian Stakes this weekend instead of running in the early October Flower Bowl (Gr. 1), which is part of the Breeders Cup Challenge Series, at Belmont. Motion is hoping the strategic decision to miss facing Lady Eli and to remain at the 1-1/8 mile distance will pay off down the road. The timing of the Canadian on the stakes schedule is also more suitable to her racing routine.
“I really like to spread her races out,” explained Motion. “I don’t like to run her too frequently or too close together. I think she really benefits from the time between races. She’s kind of a slight filly, who doesn’t take a lot of training.”
Jockey Junior Alvarado has ridden Quidura for four of her five U.S. starts and he will be back aboard on Saturday.
Chad Brown, whose trainees Rainha Da Bateria and Dacita finished 1-2 in last year’s Canadian Stakes, will pin his hopes for a repeat victory in the event this year on Irish-bred Elysea’s World. Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing LLC’s four-year-old filly by Champs Elysees out of Ideal World had back-to-back runner-up finishes over 1-1/8 miles behind future Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes winner Dickinson earlier this year in the Suwannee River Stakes (Gr. 3) at Gulfstream and the Hillsborough Stakes (Gr. 2) at Tampa Bay.
The Kevin Attard-trained Starship Jubilee was a dead-heat winner with Rainha Da Bateria in the $175,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Gr. 2) ahead of Josie Carroll trainee Involuntary over 1-1/4 miles in early July on the Woodbine turf. That victory followed up her Nassau Stakes (Gr. 3) win, also over Involuntary.
The aforementioned Flaming Page Stakes winner Involuntary is also a Canadian contender along with Selene Stakes (Gr. 3) champion Grizzel, the only three-year-old in the field, Moonlight Sky, and Southern Gem. Both Involuntary and Southern Gem, who is trained by Sid Attard, are owned by Stronach Stables.
The field for the $250,000 Canadian Stakes (Gr. 2) is listed below in post position order. First race post time for Saturday’s action-packed Ricoh Woodbine Mile card is set for 1 p.m.
$250,000 Canadian Stakes (Grade 2)
PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer
1. Quidura – Junior Alvarado – Graham Motion
2. Moonlight Sky – Rafael Hernandez – Roger Attfield
3. Starship Jubilee – Eurico Rosa da Silva – Kevin Attard
4. Grizzel – David Moran – Michael Doyle
5. Elysea’s World – Jose Ortiz – Chad Brown
6. Southern Gem – Luis Contreras – Sid Attard
7. Involuntary – Gary Boulanger – Josie Carroll