Multiple graded stakes winner Gamble’s Ghost will be looking to add another to her resume in this Sunday’s $125,000 Trillium, a Grade 3 stakes over 1-1/16 miles for fillies and mares at Woodbine.
Trained by Josie Carroll for Ontario-based owner/breeder Ivan Dalos, Gamble’s Ghost is one of the most accomplished mares in the field of 10 boasting more than $750,000 in lifetime earnings and four stakes wins over two turns, including a trio of Grade 3s. Her most recent graded stakes score in the Maple Leaf last November capped off a three-race win streak. She then finished her 2017 campaign in mid-December with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Rampart at Gulfstream Park.
The Ghostzapper mare returned to the races this year finishing third in an allowance race on May 21 over the same course and distance as the upcoming Trillium, six lengths behind My Arch Enemy and Great Britain invader Ickymasho, both of whom she will face again on Sunday.
“Initially we were a little disappointed but when we looked at the race card on the day, we saw that it was a very speed-biased track on the day and she is a closer so her style really didn’t fit with the race on the day,” said Carroll of the five-year-old mare’s season debut. “It’s probably a better race than it looks on paper. She came out of it well and she’s headed into this race well so we’re optimistic.
“She put in a big year last year and we’re hoping to come back to form this year.”
Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who was aboard for her last two Woodbine starts, will team up with Gamble’s Ghost once again. She will start from the outside post 10.
“She’s a filly that comes from off the pace anyway so hopefully she can just break, tuck in and make a run,” said Carroll, who will also send out the season-debuting Silhouette from post seven with Luis Contreras picking up the mount for Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings.
Gamble’s Ghost and jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva winning the 2017 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack, Michael Burns Photo
Silhouette, a four-year-old daughter of Smart Strike, was a winner over seven furlongs and 1-1/16 miles on Woodbine’s Tapeta surface during her six-race sophomore campaign, which ended on September 30.
“She showed a lot of promise last year,” said Carroll. “She had a minor setback that caused us not to run her over the winter and she’s been coming back very well. We’re eager to try her in stakes company.
“She was consistent last year. I think this year she’s a bigger, stronger filly. I think she’s grown up a lot this year.”
Owned by Gary Barber, the aforementioned My Arch Enemy is one of three Trillium entries from the Mark Casse stable. Barber’s three-year-old filly Miss Mo Mentum will be looking for back-to-back Grade 3 stakes wins after defeating recent Woodbine Oaks champion Dixie Moon by a neck in her Canadian debut on May 19 in the Selene. The Uncle Mo miss took a liking to the Tapeta with a big last-to-first effort in the 1-1/16 mile event with Patrick Husbands aboard.
“When this horse comes to the [synthetic track], it’s a whole different scenario,” said Husbands after winning the Selene.
Casse’s other contender is Stonestreet Stables’ Malibu Bonnie, who will move off the turf in her return race following a four-month layoff.
The field also includes the Irish-bred Michael Doyle trainee Grizzel, last year’s Selene champion who started her season with three turf tries including a fifth-place finish more recently at Woodbine in the Grade 2 Nassau.
Another contender is the Michael De Paulo-conditioned Sister Nation, who showed winning form in her May 20 season’s debut over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course after a sophomore campaign that included a victory in the Ruling Angel sprint stakes and top-three finishes in the Selene and Grade 2 Bessarabian.
Stakes-placed mares Boreale and Sugar Jones complete the line-up.
Here is a compete look at the field for the Trillium Stakes, which is scheduled as the ninth of 12 races on Sunday’s 1 p.m. program:
$125,000 Trillium Stakes (Grade 3)
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 Grizzel – David Moran - Michael Doyle
2 Boreale – Steve Bahen - Graham Motion
3 My Arch Enemy – Gary Boulanger – Mark Casse
4 Ickymasho – Rafael Hernandez – Roger Attfield
5 Sister Nation – Slade Callaghan – Michael De Paulo
6 Sugar Jones – Alan Garcia – Michael Mattine
7 Silhouette – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
8 Malibu Bonnie – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
9 Miss Mo Mentum – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
10 Gamble's Ghost – Eurcio Rosa Da Silva – Josie Carroll