Strong Mix Of Horses Taking Part in Canadian Stakes

Canadian Stakes (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
WO- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
September 9, 2023

Not all of the great races on Saturday are being held at KD, as WO also looks to get in on the fun with the 18th running of the Canadian Stakes. This is a nine-furlong race held on the grass for female horses and offers a $200.000 purse. While that amount is the same as it was last year, it is unfortunately a bit lower than where the stake has been for most of its tenure. That has not impacted the quality of the field as several accomplished runners take on a couple of up and comers in our field of ten. The 2022 edition of the race was won by Mo Mentum Farm and his filly, Mon Dieu. That one continues to run at a high level and was last seen three weeks ago right here winning the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes. Now, let’s take a look at those taking part this year!

#1- Always Condottieri (Maletto, ridden by K Kimura)- We saw this filly in the BC Fillies and Mares Turf last year, and while she did not get a cut of the purse, she finished a respectable fifth in the race. Not too long after, she put together a stretch of winning three out of four that included the Pegasus F & M Turf at GP in late January. The results kept coming over the course of the year, and that would lead to her being well-bet in the Grade 1 at SAR, her last start. For some reason, she never fired that day. Maletto’s had a little bit of time to figure out why and will be hoping that race was an aberration. Had been working at KD, so perhaps one of those races were targeted initially but the trainer felt she needed a little lighter spot.

#2- November Storm (Mb Stables, ridden by D Carroll)- If you picked up the program and looked at the Ladies Marathon at KD, you will see her name listed there, but as a scratch. So, we know that she was pulled out of that race and put into this, which is certainly a lesser spot. Everything seems to be fine with her, though, and she comes out of a second-place effort at the SAR Oaks last month, narrowly missing the win. That was her stake debut, so perhaps the trainer just feels she is not ready to face Maggie Greene yet. Then again, Mb Stables isn’t going to back down from anyone. More than likely then, running her here as opposed to there has nothing to do with the competition level.

#3- Zalinda (Threshold, ridden by S Civaci)- If she had just a little more luck with the head bob, we would be talking about her looking to go back-to-back here in the Canadian Stakes. Instead, the tough luck runner up from last year’s edition will be happy to not see Mon Dieu and to finish one spot better. Since that race, Zalinda has run five times, alternating fourth and first place finishes. One of those wins was a big one, as in late May, she took home the win in the Grade 1 Gamely at SA, beating a couple runners that you will see in the Ladies Marathon. Zalinda may have been there as well, but she possibly could have been better in the Grade 3 Matchmaker, although that was a good field. If the fourth-first pattern holds up, this race is hers.

#4- Evening Rise (BomBay Stables, ridden by D Fukumoto)- In late February, the trainer picked this one up in private sales for $25.000, and must be saying “yeah boy!” over her results in the four races since. Things began modestly for her in the Bombay silks, breaking her maiden at TAM before being moved up the ladder. In June, she finished second in the Grade 3 Honeymoon Stakes, then following that, it was off to ELP for the KD Preview Ladies Turf Mile. There, she would be second as well, but the trainer as opted to not try the actual Ladies Turf Mile at KD and to bring her here instead. You really have to like the progression this up and comer has had. Regardless of how this goes, we’ll be seeing more of her.

#5- Laptop (Oquinn Farm, ridden by G Boulanger)- This four-year-old filly by On High Alert has won three of her ten races thus far, but none of those victories have come in the stakes that she has tried. Her best win was an allowance triumph right here at WO in early July, and the trainer hoped to build off of that in the $135.000 De La Rose Stakes at SAR last month. Though she did not win that race, that was a successful decision by Oquinn Farm as Laptop ran second in the race, with the one beating her being Wander. There’s never any shame in losing to that one. Laptop will meet equivalent horses here, but she has proven herself capable and it will be worth checking the odds on her to see if they climb because people are overlooking her. Take a shot, if so.

#6- Million Dollar Idea (Rock Creek, ridden by R W Walcott)- You can certainly say that this filly is just getting start, having only made two starts to this point. After debuting over at FE, she remained at that racetrack and broke her maiden at a mile and a sixteenth a month later. That win saw her earn at 95 SRF while truly exciting her trainer. Now, Rock Creek is making a quite a leap by entering her here off of this, but it’s gambles like that which turn into million-dollar ideas. Without any recent mile turf works, it’s hard to pick her in a race like this, but if you like a big gamble, why not?

#7- Techfluence High (The Sidley Stud, ridden by J Crawford)- Ten months ago, Techfluence High became a BC champion by winning the Juvenile Turf, but how would she graduate into her three-year-old season? She was inconsistent to start the year but running second in the Grade 2 Appalachian at KEE showed that she is still very capable. Her only win of the year came right here in late July, when she won the Grade 3 ONT Colleen Stakes. After that, for the first time in 2023, she turned in consecutive strong finishes by running second in the Grade 2 Lake Placid, so maybe she is starting to get it together again. We know what she can do, we just need to see it more often.

#8- Undisputed (Mb Stables, ridden by D Moran)- The second of the two horses saddled by Mb Stables here, and between them they look like a toss as to which one I would favor. Undisputed has three wins in six starts and has only failed to hit the board once. She’s run well and consistently as a three-year-old, winning the Grade 3 Regret at CD before heading to BEL and running second in the BEL Oaks to a Bombing For Peace, who simply would not be denied that day. It’s possible that her third-place run in the Pucker Up Stakes last month won’t look appealing to some, but that was also won by a Ladies Marathon runner. Everything’s fine with this one, giving Mb Stables a sharp looking duo the race,

#9- Midnight Liquor (Winning Link Stables, ridden by A Vandermeersch)- The last time we saw this filly win a race, it was in 2022 for the De La Rose Stakes, but she was not able to perform as well in her return trip to that race last month. Midnight Liquor has had her close calls, such as in the Grade 3 Wilshire Stakes at SA in April. It’s clear why she keeps being entered into races of this stature, as with one recent exception, she’s never badly beaten, but she’s also not winning. Perhaps this will be her day, and it will happen at some point, but I will have to look elsewhere.

#10- Lady Hilltopper (Black N Gold Stable, ridden by J Stein)- Winning has not been a problem for Lady Hilltopper, as she was won just one shy of half her races, going seven for sixteen. During the spring, she was especially strong, taking the Grade 3 Santa Ana Stakes at SA and then the Grade 3 Bewitch at KEE back-to-back. Having hot stretches like that has not been unusual for her, and you never know when the next one will start. Her last two races are not as encouraging, so if nothing else, Lady Hilltopper needs a good rebound here, even if she does not win.

Prediction: 8-5-7-3

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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