TORONTO, April 27, 2022 – Trainer Mark Casse sends out the trio of Aubrieta, Beautiful Empire and Diabolic (IRE) in the $125,000 Star Shoot Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine.
The six-furlong Star Shoot, for three-year-old fillies, has traditionally been a key prep for the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser, slated for July 24, the first leg of the prestigious Canadian Triple Tiara series.
Casse, who went one-two in the 2018 running of the Star Shoot with Sly Beauty and Closer Still, respectively, will look for a return trip to the winner’s circle with an Ontario-bred, a Kentucky-bred and an Irish-bred in this year’s edition.
Bred in Ontario by owner Conrad Farms, Aubrieta, a bay daughter of Speightster, will make her fifth career start and fourth consecutive stakes appearance on Saturday.
Aubrieta won her career bow last September at Woodbine, and then made her next three starts in stakes company, finishing second in the Shady Well in October, winning the Glorious Song in October, before a disappointing ninth-place effort in the Grade 3 Mazarine to close out her two-year-old campaign.
Beautiful Empire, bred by in Kentucky by Springhouse Farm, and owned by John Oxley, will make her second straight start at Woodbine after five races – three at Turfway Park, two at Churchill Downs – in the U.S.
The chestnut daughter of Classic Empire brings a record of 2-1-1 from six starts into the Star Shoot, including a four-length romp over five furlongs on the Woodbine main track on April 16, opening day of the 2022 Thoroughbred meet.
Last December at Turfway, Beautiful Empire, in her third start, broke her maiden courtesy of a 2 ¾-length score at six panels. After missing by a neck in her next outing, she was third in the Valdale Stakes on February 12.
Irish-bred Diabolic won the first three starts of her career, including victories in My Dear Stakes and Catch A Glimpse Stakes last year at the Toronto oval.
“She ran pretty good off the pace,” said jockey Antonio Gallardo, after the Catch A Glimpse. “I saw a couple of horses with speed going a little longer distance than last time, so I settled down; tried to save some ground. She’s a nice filly. I saw the inside hole and I only asked her a little bit and she just rolled. She’s improved. She’s classy. She can do everything all the time.”
The grey daughter of Dark Angel was fifth to Wild Beauty in the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes in September, the final race of her two-year-old season.
Bred by Yeomanstown Stud, Diabolic is owned by D.J. Racing Stable LLC and Nexus Racing Club.
Howdyoumakeurmoney, Miss Alacrity and Parlance round out the field.
Last year, Can’t Buy Love, trained by Michael Trombetta, won the Star Shoot in a time of 1:09.47.
The Star Shoot is Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post time is 1:10 p.m.
Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
FIELD FOR THE $125,000 STAR SHOOT
POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER
1 – Beautiful Empire – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
2 – Diabolic (IRE) – Antonio Gallardo – Mark Casse
3 – Miss Alacrity – Kazushi Kimura – Wesley Ward
4 – Aubrieta – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
5 – Parlanace – Rafael Hernandez – Steve Asmussen
6 – Howdyoumakeurmoney – Justin Stein – Michael Trombetta
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms