Trainer Kevin Attard and Soli Mehta’s Starship Jubilee pulled off an 11-1 upset with a last-to-first run to defeat the favoured Chad Brown trainees in the $250,000 Canadian Stakes (Grade 2), Presented by the Japan Racing Association, during Saturday’s stakes-packed program at Woodbine Racetrack.
Jockey Luis Contreras worked out the patient trip in the 1-1/8-mile turf event for older fillies and mares to secure his third Canadian Stakes win in the last six years.
Starship Jubilee, out from post six in a field with two scratches, settled towards the back of the six-horse field early on while Daring Duchess assumed the leading role with the Chad Brown-trained millionairess New Money Honey pressing the pace through fractions of :23.08 and :45.68. Turning for home, Contreras swung Starship Jubilee out three-wide and she rallied past her rivals down the lane to win in 1:42.91 by 3-1/4 lengths. New Money Honey had struck the front in the upper stretch and held off her favoured stablemate, Inflexibility, who had stalked the pace and closed into the photo for place.
Starship Jubilee and jockey Luis Contreras winning the $250,000 Canadian Stakes (Grade 2), Presented by the Japan Racing Association, on Saturday, Michael Burns Photo
“She was really good. Kevin told me in the paddock just to get her to relax, that’s the best way she can finish the race, and he was right,” said Contreras. “I was waiting. I got a perfect trip. She helped me a lot. When I got her to relax, she was nice and calm early. Once I hit the three-eighths, I saw my room and I went through and she gave me everything from there.”
Bred in Florida by William P. Sorren, the five-year-old Indy Wind-Perfectly Wild mare earned her third graded stakes win at Woodbine and 11th victory overall from 23 starts.
“I love this horse. We thought we had a great shot. You only had to worry about Chad Brown’s five horse [New Money Honey],” commented Mehta.
Starship Jubilee, who finished third in the Canadian Stakes last year, won the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park over the winter and was a close runner-up in the subsequent Mary Todd Stakes there. She entered the Canadian Stakes off a winning effort in a 1-1/16 mile turf prep after unsuccessful outings in the Grade 2 Nassau and Dance Smartly.
“I made a few mistakes with her early this year,” said Attard. “We sent her home for a break and she kind of just didn’t swing back after that vacation. We needed a confidence builder in her and we found one for her and she was pretty authoritative that day. She came into this race and she worked lights out last week and I just had a good feeling that if we had a good trip, she'd come running down the lane."
Overlooked at odds of 11-1, Starship Jubilee returned $25.30, $8.40 and $3.40. She combined with 9-5 second choice New Money Honey ($3.90, $2.20) for a $2 exacta worth $91.90. Even-money favourite Inflexibility ($2.20) completed the trifecta, which paid $105.05 for a $1 ticket, and Bletchley rounded out the superfecta, worth $315.30 for a $1 ticket.
Hallie Belle and Daring Duchess completed the order of finish. Mythical Mission and Niigon’s Eclipse were scratched.