Starship Jubilee rocketed from near the back of the pack in a seven-horse-horse field to win Saturday’s $ 177,500 Grade 2 Nassau Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Kevin Attard, who co-owns with Soli Mehta, the four-year-old Indy Wind bay earned her first added-money score with a strong late kick under leading rider Eurico Rosa da Silva in the 62nd edition of the one-mile tilt over a yielding E.P. Taylor Turf Course, comfortably fending off the late run of longshot Involuntary to score by 2 ½-lengths.
Starship Jubilee was making her sixth start of the season and winning her fourth consecutive race, including a trio of triumphs at Gulfstream Park. The Nassau was her first try outside of Florida.
Caren, Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year, set the early tone in the Nassau, joined by 2015 Horse of the Year, Catch a Glimpse, marking off splits of :24.60 and :49.01.
A swift-gaining Starship Jubilee had moved to fourth at the three-quarter mark, was 1 ½-lengths in command at the stretch call, and still going strong in the final strides. Involuntary kicked on for place money, two lengths the good to Stormy Victoria. Starship Jubilee covered the mile in 1:37.37.
It wasn’t the smoothest of the beginnings for the eventual winner.
“She broke so hard,” said da Silva. “And she had a big stumble. But some bad turned to good. She was perfect and so relaxed. She was really, really waiting for me to turn her loose.”
The win was indeed a sweet one for Starship Jubilee’s connections, who came out on top after putting in a claim for her at Gulfstream.
“She looked like a horse that was dying to stretch out,” said Attard. “We got her. We were fortunate enough to win the shake. She’s trained phenomenally well and had a couple of fantastic breezes. I know we were an underdog, but she’s really blossomed since we’ve got her. I was very excited about her chances today.”
Starship Jubilee, bred in Florida by William Sorren, banked $ 105,000 while improving her record to 7-1-0 from 13 starts.
She paid $ 22.90, $ 11.70 and $ 5.70, combining with Involuntary ($ 28.80, $ 9.50) for a $ 352.90 (7-3) exactor. A 7-3-1 triactor (Stormy Victoria, $ 3.20 to show) was worth $ 1,119.70, while a $ 1 Superfecta [7-3-1-4 (Caren)] came back $ 2,235.85.
Catch A Glimpse, who didn’t make the course, bled, according to Kathryn Sullivan, a key assistant in the Mark Casse training operation. “(Catch a Glimpse) bled very, very, very badly from the nose, but she is doing well, resting in her stall.”
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