TORONTO, December 5, 2019 – Chiefswood Stable’ homebred Cool Shadows, a two-year-old daughter of Munnings, chases her third consecutive score, this time in Sunday afternoon’s $125,000 Ontario Lassie Stakes, at Woodbine.
The 1 1/16-mile Tapeta route for Ontario-bred juvenile fillies showcases six starters, including Stuart Simon trainee Cool Shadows.
“She’s a good-feeling filly,” noted Simon. “We’ve been really happy with the way she’s progressed over her three races.”
After a third-place debut at 20-1 on September 1 in a six-furlong maiden special weight race contested over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, the dark bay was tabbed as the 2-1 favourite on September 27 in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight, also run on the Woodbine grass.
Recovering after brushing the gate, Cool Shadows, with Jerome Lermyte in the irons, held a head advantage at Robert Geller’s stretch call, going on to win by a length over ‘firm’ going in a time of 1:15.20.
Cool Shadows was then cast in the role of longshot for the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth Stakes on October 26.
Off a step slowly in the main track feature, she rallied rally impressively to notch a neck win over Merveilleux, who is also slated to start in the Ontario Lassie, as is third-place finisher Avie’s Samurai. Curlin’s Voyage, fourth as the 2-5 choice in the Princess Elizabeth, is also in to run.
“She’s always been a nice filly,” praised Simon. “She’s run well on different surfaces and used different running styles to be successful. Up close and winning, then from last to win, short and long – she’s done extremely well.
“She has such a professional attitude when she’s racing. She can lay anywhere. You can put her in any spot and feel comfortable. She has good tactical speed if you want to use it, she’ll relax and come off the bridle, and then come running. You can do anything you want with her… it’s nice to have that in a horse.”
Cool Shadows will head for sunnier climes soon, spending the winter in Florida before shipping back to Woodbine for the 2020 campaign.
Simon is hoping to see his young charge continue to develop ahead of her three-year-old season.
“She’s going to come down south after. We always want explore things with our young horses down here on the dirt and see what path it takes us on. We’ll take it one race at a time. She’ll run in Florida and we’ll see where that takes us.”
It’s been a solid 2019 for Simon, who eclipsed the 800 career-win mark. To date, the barn has won seven stakes this year along with 19 top-three finishes from 36 added-money starts.
“It’s been a good year,” said Simon, who has nearly $12.7 million in lifetime in purse earnings. “We’ve developed some good young horses – it’s been great in that sense, that we’ve raised some nice young talent. That’s what every sports team wants to accomplish.”
Cool Shadows’ sire, Munnings, was a multiple graded stakes winner. The son of Speightstown, who posted a record of 4-2-5 from 14 career starts, won a pair of Grade 2 events in 2009, the Woody Stephen Stakes and the Tom Fool Handicap.
Trainer Catherine Day Phillips has won the past two editions of the Ontario Lassie, with Dixie Moon in 2017 and Artilena in 2018. Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson has taken three of the past five runnings of the race: in 2014 with London Tower, in 2015 with Sparkles’ Girl and last year with Artilena. Wilson also won the 2005 renewal with Our Madison.
Donver Stables’ Inglorious, winner of the 2010 Ontario Lassie, went on to win the 2011 Queen’s Plate. Girls ‘L Be Girls won the inaugural running in 1979.
The Ontario Lassie is carded as race nine on Sunday’s 13-race program. First post is 1:05 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action through HPIBet.com.
$125,000 Ontario Lassie Stakes
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Merveilleux – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard
2 – November Fog – Justin Stein – Sarah Ritchie
3 – The Pink Pegasus – Jeffrey Alderson – Kendra Wieczorek
4 – Avie’s Samurai – Kazushi Kimura – Josie Carroll
5 – Curlin’s Voyage – Patrick Husbands – Josie Carroll
6 – Cool Shadows – Jerome Lermyte – Stuart Simon