Robert Marzilli’s Caren made her final start of 2016 a winning one with a front-running score in Sunday’s $ 150,000 Carotene Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Mike DePaulo, the three-year-old daughter of Society’s Chairman picked up her fourth stakes win of the meet, and surged past CDN$ 1-million in purse earnings, with a decisive score in the 1 1/8-mile turf event for Ontario-bred sophomore fillies.
Caren has enjoyed a tremendous three-year-old season. A powerful pace presence, Caren finished second in the Grade 3 Selene Stakes and third in the $ 500,000 Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, before asserting her dominance in the division with four successive added-money scores.
On July 10, the talented bay burst from the gate in front in the Bison City Stakes, second jewel of the filly Triple Tiara, and hasn’t been headed since. A length winner of the Bison City, Caren then proved her stamina in the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where Stakes, third, and turf, jewel of the Triple Tiara before adding a graded stakes score to her resume with a nose victory in the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen.
On Sunday, with regular pilot Jesse Campbell aboard, Caren again stepped to the front through splits of :24.48 and :48.96 with Calling Rhy Rhy and Niigon’s Eclipse pressing her early foot. Shake Down Baby, who came up a nose short to Caren in the Ontario Colleen, settled next to last in the field of seven in the early running under Gary Boulanger.
Caren, under a hand ride throughout, led the field through the final turn and surged confidently down the lane as Calling Rhy Rhy and Niigon’s Eclipse tried in vain to reel her in. Shake Down Baby, angled outside for the stretch run, also made her bid, but there was no catching the confident Caren who notched a length win. Niigon’s Eclipse got up for place over Calling Rhy Rhy with Shake Down Baby settling for fourth. Caren covered nine furlongs over a ‘good’ turf course in 1:49.10.
Campbell tipped his cap to the game filly who boasts wins from 4 1/2-furlongs out to 1 1/4-miles.
“Every time I question something about her, she just proves us wrong,” said Campbell. “She’s just a nice horse. There’s no other way around it.”
The veteran rider, who also took the co-featured Fanfreluche Stakes on the undercard, noted that last time out, in the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen when travelling a mile on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, Caren had to use her speed to make the lead.
“Pace makes the race. If you look at the fractions going a mile, it was quicker and a harder fought race down the back side,” said Campbell. “Today, she got in front and rated herself. I knew she had more down the lane because she was running more within herself.
“You know what makes her tough,” continued Campbell. “She’s quick and she has stamina.”
The victory provided DePaulo with his ninth stakes victory of the meet.
“Caren has been a star. She’s a millionaire today. She’s the first filly I’ve had to win a million,” said DePaulo.
DePaulo will look to continue an impressive season when he saddles Noholdingback Bear in the Grade 1 $ 1.5-million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on November 5. The three-year-old colt breezed five furlongs in :59 flat over Woodbine’s dirt training track early this morning.
“He worked good today. We’re ready to go. One more work and we’re off to California,” said DePaulo.
Caren, bred in Ontario by James A. Everatt, Janeane A. Everatt & J. Arika Everatt-Meeuse, banked $ 90,000 in victory while improving her record to 9-2-2 from 14 starts.
She paid $ 5.90, $ 3.30 and $ 2.80, combining with Niigon’s Eclipse ($ 5.40, $ 3.70) for a $ 24.80 (5-7) exacta. A 5-7-6 trifecta (Calling Rhy Rhy, $ 3.90 to show) was worth $ 108.50, while a $ 1 Superfecta [5-6-7-3 (Shake Down Baby)] came back $ 79.65.
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