Seven months after last competing in the Nov. 21 Bessarabian Stakes (G2), the top four finishers from that synthetic sprint race—Artie’s Princess , Boardroom , Our Secret Agent , and Amalfi Coast —are rematched in the CA$150,000 Whimsical Stakes (G3) at Woodbine June 19.
The Whimsical is one of two stakes at the Canadian track Saturday, the other being the ungraded, CA$125,000 Star Shoot Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. These two stakes are the first black-type contests of the year at Woodbine, which had its 2020 meet cut short and its 2021 meet delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario.
Continuing a trend seen over Woodbine’s opening weekend June 12-13, when an average of 10.7 starters per race competed, fields are deep for many of the 12 races on Saturday. In-race entries total 131, plus another 14 also-eligibles.
The Bessarabian drew one shipper from the United States: Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Artie’s Princess, the Bessarabian victress and champion female sprinter in Canada last year. Though based at Keeneland in Kentucky, the homebred daughter of We Miss Artie has made six of her seven starts on Woodbine’s Tapeta main track, winning five times.
Video: Bessarabian S. (G2)
Her only local defeat came when second in the Frost King Stakes in 2019. Last year she was perfect in three starts at Woodbine, capturing an allowance and the Ruling Angel Stakes prior to her season-ending Bessarabian for trainer Wesley Ward. Also last year, she crossed the wire in fourth in the Coronation Cup at Saratoga Race Course before being dropped to seventh by the stewards for interference.
LNJ Foxwoods’ Boardroom was also a stakes winner at Woodbine in 2020, taking the Duchess Stakes prior to her close runner-up finish to Artie’s Princess when second in the Bessarabian. The 4-year-old Commissioner filly is 3-for-5 for trainer Josie Carroll. A closer, she has not raced the six-furlong distance of the Whimsical but has won at 5 1/2, 6 1/2, and seven furlongs.
“What impresses me most about Boardroom is her athleticism. She has a ton of class and is all business when she hits the track,” said Jaime Roth of LNJ Foxwoods.
Gary Barber’s Our Secret Agent and Terra Racing Stable’s Amalfi Coast—third and fourth, respectively, in the Bessarabian—also race for the first time since that race.
A 5-year-old Tapizar mare, Amalfi Coast had an uneven 2020 campaign, winning one race and posting a third from six starts for trainer Kevin Attard. She has an overall mark of 5-2-2 from 14 starts.
“She was with me in Caledon (Ontario) in the winter. She came to Woodbine in the spring and hasn’t missed a beat,” Attard said. “I’m excited to see her get going. It might be a tad short of her best, distance-wise, but she’s good and sharp.”
The Whimsical is the ninth race with a 5:31 ET post time. The Star Shoot is race 7, about an hour earlier.
Woodbine, Saturday, June 19, 2021, Race 9
- Grade III
- All Weather Track
- 4 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
- 5:31 PM (local)