Archive for July 2012

Chantal Hoping for Awesome Effort in Wonder Where

TORONTO – Chantal Sutherland, who took the lid lifter at Del Mar a week ago, ships in to Woodbine on Sunday to ride Awesome Fire in the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara Series.

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Nine fillies, including stakes winners Dene Court, Blue Heart and Rose and Shine, along with Woodbine Oaks third-place finisher Awesome Fire, will contest the 1 1/4-mile event over the E.P Taylor Turf Course.

Awesome Fire is trained by Nick Gonzalez for owner Hugh Sutherland (Urban Fire Corp.), Chantal’s brother. The chestnut filly, a daughter of Strong Contender-Awesome Lass, loomed large at the top of the lane in the Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, but could not chase down eventual winner Irish Mission en route to a third-place finish when defeated just three-quarters of a length.

She enters the Wonder Where off a fourth-place effort in the Bison City.

Sutherland, who got the Del Mar meet started on the right foot with trainer Kristin Mulhall’s Miss California, is thrilled to be home – even if only for one card.

“I’m very excited to ride my brother’s horse and to ride for Nick and Martha Gonzalez,” said Sutherland. “My brother is so stoked I am coming to Canada and I, too, am excited to come home and ride that beautiful turf course.”

The Winnipeg-born jock has enjoyed a solid 2012 campaign thus far guiding Game On Dude to a trio of graded scores, in the Grade 2 Santa Anita Handicap, Grade 2 Californian and Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup, all on the west coast.

In June, Sutherland, who acts and models outside of her riding career, was featured in a provocative Vanity Fair spread in a photo shoot conducted by Bo Derek.

Sutherland’s visit to Toronto will be cut short due to her Hollywood schedule which includes an upcoming small screen appearance.

“I love Woodbine and can’t wait to see everyone, even though the trip will be brief as I have to get back to L.A. to be on the Conan O’Brien show which will be filming July 31,” she said.

Sutherland will have her work cut out for her in the Wonder Where as Awesome Fire, who boasts a five-panel work in 1:00 over the Woodbine ‘Poly’ prepping for this event, will be making her turf debut.

Providing strong opposition is Dene Court, a perfect two-for-two over the Woodbine lawn, with scores in the six and a half furlong Alywow and one-mile Ontario Damsel. The Eugene Melnyk charge, trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Patrick Husbands, has been ultra-consistent in her five-race career boasting three wins and a pair of seconds.

The City Zip-Operetta chestnut has been effective on both turf and ‘Poly’, taking her maiden at first asking on the main track followed by a pair of second-place efforts in the Shady Well and Fury Stakes.

Blue Heart, who was second to Dene Court in the Alywow, came back to win the second leg of the Triple Tiara, the 1 1/16-mile Bison City Stakes, by a length and three-quarters. The Brian Lynch trainee, a grey Exchange Rate filly, was closing quickly in the Alywow in just her first turf start. She captured the Mazarine Stakes as a juvenile.

Part the Seas, a Sam-Son Farm homebred by Stormy Atlantic out of the Smart Strike mare Go Marching Thru, should appreciate the added distance of the Wonder Where and will look to close into the pace expected to be set by front-runners Dene Court and Black Bird Rock.

The field includes four turf winners – the aforementioned Dene Court and Part the Seas, along with longshots Lateegra and Sibonet. The impeccably-bred Lateegra, a daughter of North Light-Nakaba trained by Mike Doyle and ridden by Slade Callaghan, broke her maiden last time out in a 10-furlong turf tilt.

Sibonet, trained by Scott Fairlie and ridden by Michelle Rainford, closed from out of the clouds last time out to take a seven-furlong claiming event over the E.P Taylor Turf.

Point of Emminence, a chestnut daughter of Point Given-Her Emminence who earned a 76 Beyer Speed Figure when second in a grassy claiming event last out, completes the field.

The Wonder Where is listed as race eight on Sunday’s 10-race programme. The undercard includes the Grade 3 Royal North Stakes, for fillies and mares three years old and upwards. First post is 1:05 p.m.