Boardroom makes the grade in Whimsical Stakes; Can’t Buy Love surges to Star Shoot victory

June 19, 2021

TORONTO, June 19, 2021 – With the action heating up at Woodbine Racetrack, LNJ Foxwoods’ four-year-old filly Boardroom earned her first graded stakes title in the $150,000 Whimsical co-featured on Saturday’s card.

With regular rider Luis Contreras up for Hall of Fame trainer Josie Carroll, Boardroom made her seasonal debut a winning one in the Grade 3 six-furlong stakes event for fillies and mares four years old and up.

Golden Ami, the winner’s stablemate, held a narrow lead while flanked by 2019 Champion Female Sprinter Summer Sunday (inside) and the reigning divisional champ Artie’s Princess (outside) through fractions of :21.93 and :43.93 over the fast Tapeta surface. Following close to the pace just behind the top trio, Contreras had positioned Boardroom to strike down the stretch and the talented filly out-finished the competitive bunch to score by a neck in a sizzling time of 1:08.35.

“Reading the program and by the way the track has been playing, that was pretty much the thing to do. Everything worked perfect. Every single step of the race I was right there,” said Contreras. “She’s so amazing.”

Boardroom and jockey Luis Contreras winning the $150,000 Whimsical Stakes (Grade 3) on Saturday, June 19 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)
Boardroom and jockey Luis Contreras winning the $150,000 Whimsical Stakes (Grade 3) on Saturday, June 19 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

Boardroom paid $5.70 to win as the 9-5 second choice. Our Secret Agent closed widest from the back to finish second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Amalfi Coast, who rallied between rivals to take third prize. Golden Ami finished fourth, a neck back, followed by 6-5 favourite Artie’s Princess and Summer Sunday. Chart and Sav were scratched.

“I think she’s a really special filly and the race set up beautifully for her, Luis sat patiently just off of them and the filly proved what she is,” said Carroll. “I wasn’t [surprised how close she was] with the way this track is playing. This track is very speedy today, so she was a little closer than maybe we had anticipated prior, but the way the day’s been unfolding, I wasn’t that surprised.”

Boardroom put together a 3-1-1 record while earning more than $140,000 during her debut season last year as a three-year-old despite a few eventful trips. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Commissioner had closed her five-race 2020 campaign by winning the Duchess Stakes and finishing a head shy of Artie’s Princess in the Grade 2 Bessarabian.

Earlier on the program, Can’t Buy Love kicked off the Woodbine season’s stakes action, rallying late to win the $125,000 Star Shoot six-furlong sprint for three-year-old fillies.

Justin Stein worked out the winning trip aboard the Michael Trombetta trainee in her Woodbine debut after she was claimed for $75,000 at Gulfstream Park over the winter by R. Larry Johnson.

Polyanthus was joined on top by 2-5 favourite Drunk Dial, both coming off successful career debuts in 2020, and they traded blows through fractions of :21.69 and :44.09 with a quick-leaving California Lily stalking the pace and striking in the final furlong. Meanwhile, Can’t Buy Love settled off the pace in sixth before launching wide into contention on the turn and surging to victory. The final time was 1:09.47.

“They were moving along, the field in front of me. The favourite actually broke bad to the outside and I had a chance to kind of make that horse have to do a little extra early and then she [Can’t Buy Love] just settled into stride and waited for her cue,” said Stein after the race. “I could tell she wanted to win, she was surging at those horses and she wanted to be at the wire first today.”

Can’t Buy Love and jockey Justin Stein winning the $125,000 Star Shoot Stakes on Saturday, June 19 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)
Can’t Buy Love and jockey Justin Stein winning the $125,000 Star Shoot Stakes on Saturday, June 19 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

Sent postward at odds of 12-1 in the field of eight that include four Mark Casse trainees, the supplemented shipper Can’t Buy Love returned $27.30 to win. Dirty Dangle nosed out California Lily in a place photo less than a length behind the winner, while the season-debuting Sweet Souper Sweet picked up fourth money for the Trombetta stable finishing ahead of early trailer La Libertee. Polyanthus, Drunk Dial and Magical Soul completed the order.

Bred in Kentucky by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, the Twirling Candy-Pay the Kitten filly earned her first win of the season in her fifth outing and improved her lifetime record to 3-1-1 from nine starts.

Live Thoroughbred racing continues, without spectators, at Woodbine Racetrack on Sunday afternoon, featuring the seasonal debut of superstar sprinter Pink Lloyd as he seeks his fifth straight Jacques Cartier Stakes title. The $150,000 Grade 3 sprint is co-featured on the 12-race program along with the $125,000 Woodstock Stakes. Post time is set for 1:20 p.m.

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