Zalinda Does One Better in This Year’s 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

Last year, Zalinda appeared in the Canadian Stakes and barely missed out on the win, losing by a nose at the wire. Threshold’s stable star would return here to try and finish the job, and she seemed like one of the top horses in a very balanced field. At odds of 9/2, she was still the post-time favorite for the race as the trainer hoped her pattern of alternating wins and fourth place finishes would continue. After a mile and an eighth on the turf, Zalinda showed her strength in the stretch, coming from the middle of the pack instead of looking to run at the front like she did here in 2022. This veteran seven-year-old mare would end up getting the job done for the fifteenth time in her career, giving Threshold his first Canadian Stakes trophy. That’s also true for “jokey” (as Stu) likes to say, S Civaci, who wins for the first time as well. Congratulations to them! The times of the race was 1:45.34, the third quickest in race history and the fastest since 2012. Let’s take a look at it!

(1/2 Mile- :46.88)- We move down this long WO backstretch with Undisputed being the quickest of them all for Mb Stables, but she hasn’t pulled that far away from the rest of the field. Positioned right behind her are a pair of stalkers that has Maletto’s Always Condottieri riding the rail, with Evening Rise within a half-length of her for BomBay Stables. Lady Hilltopper, who’s trained by Black N Gold Stable runs in the fourth spot while in the second lane, and to her inside is The Sidley Stud’s Techfluence High. A group of three horses are right in the pack, with our eventual winner, Threshold’s Zalinda having a head in front while running between horses. Laptop (Oquinn Farm) is on her outside with November Storm (Mb Stables) on the rail. It’s another length and a half to Million Dollar Idea (Rock Creek) and Midnight Liquor (Winning Link Stables) is two more back.

(3/4 Mile- 1:10.61)- Undisputed continues to be the leader as we move in the turn, and she has not had to deal with anyone looking to take that away yet. Always Condottieri was certainly a concern to her though, in the way that she was just lurking right behind her, and with Evening Rise slowly being unable to keep up, there would be room for Always Condottieri’s bid. Lady Hilltopper was still fourth and maintained her position of not pressing the top three but being a length or so ahead of everyone else. Zalinda was right behind her, and we had not yet seen her push. Techfluence HIgh kept up with her for now on the rail, but Laptop was starting to fall into the clutches of November Storm. Further back, unless an incredible push was imminent, Million Dollar Idea and Midnight Liquor were seven-year-old like also-rans.

(Top of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Due to the close proximity between the 3/4 mile and the actual top of the stretch, I’ve moved this portion a little further into the stretch run. It was at this point where Always Condottieri took over the top spot, after having gradually reeled in Undisputed in the second half of the turn. Undisputed was still running with her, so don’t write her off completely yet. For now, Evening Rise was running third, but all eyes were soon on Zalinda, and there was no joke about S Civaci’s outside bid with her to try and get around Lady Hilltopper. This progress already saw her be approximately a length and a half from the leader, a gap that was shrinking with every stride. Elsewhere, Laptop was attempting her own outside bid, and November Storm was advancing. The others were essentially done for the day.

(Finish- 1:45.34)- With a furlong to go, Maletto may have been thinking that Always Condottieri could have enough to get the win, as she put away Undisputed, and still had a length on Zalinda. She had been closing, but maybe just a little more was needed. Approaching the wire, the seven-year-old mare may have been remembering what happened here last year, when Mon Dieu defeated her by the narrowest of margins. Zalinda was not going to be a bridesmaid again and kept on pushing but would also make sure there would be no doubt at the wire, pulling away enough to win by nearly a length. Always Condotteri settles for second, and Undisputed ran steady enough to the wire to be third ahead of her stablemate November Storm and Lady Hilltopper, who will split the fourth-place check. Evening Rise was a nose behind making that a three way. The rest of the running order ends up as Laptop, Techfluence High, Midnight Liquor, and Million Dollar Idea.

About The Winner- Zalinda, trained by Threshold and ridden to victory by S Civaci, is a seven-year-old mare by Moment Of Madness, and is out of late Seashell Whisperer. She was bred as a yearling by Blushing Meadows in Florida and was acquired by Threshold in the December 2018 auction for $13.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her fifteenth in 41 starts, her seventh stake win and sixth graded win. Her career earnings are now $1,629.140.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Zalinda Threshold Civaci S 4.45   13/4 1:45.34  
  Always Condottieri Maletto Kimura K 4.70   21 1:45.50  
  Undisputed Mb Stables Moran D 5.90   31/4 1:45.84  
  November Storm Mb Stables Carroll D 5.90   4no 1:45.92  
  Lady Hilltopper Black N Gold Stable Stein J 4.65   4no 1:45.92  
  Evening Rise BomBay Stables Fukumoto D 31.45   61 1:45.93  
  Laptop Oquinn Farm Boulanger G 8.10   71 1:46.17  
  Techfluence High The Sidley Stud Crawford J 7.75   81/2 1:46.40  
  Midnight Liquor Winning Link Stables Wenc I C 10.80   91 1:46.53  
  Million Dollar Idea Rock Creek Slevinsky R 65.00   10 1:46.90  

Track: Firm

Time: :47   1:103  1:34   1:451

$2 Mutuel Prices:

3 – Zalinda 10.90 4.40 3.10
1 – Always Condottieri   4.60 3.30
8 – Undisputed     3.70

$1 Exacta: 3 – 1 Paid 25.10

$1 Trifecta: 3 – 1 – 8 Paid 71.40

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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