TORONTO, July 8, 2021 – The $150,000 Grade 3 Selene Stakes and the $125,000 Fury Stakes share the spotlight this Saturday at Woodbine.
A key prep on the road to this year’s Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser (August 1, at Woodbine), the 1 1/16-mile main track Selene, for three-year-olds, has attracted a pair of Canadian-breds – Il Malocchio (cross-entered in the Fury) and Munnyfor Ro – who could contest the $500,000 Oaks.
Vying for top honours in the Selene is Kentucky-bred Gote Go, a 3-year-old daughter of Street Boss.
Trained by dual hall of fame inductee Roger Attfield, and bred and owned by William Harrigan, Gote Go will be making her first stakes appearance and fifth start at Woodbine.
“I’m excited,” said Harrigan. “She’s running in her first graded stakes and I hope it won’t be her last.”
The chestnut filly, who sports a mark of 2-1-0 from seven races, arrives at the Selene off an impressive two-length triumph in a 1 1/16-mile turf engagement at Churchill Downs on June 5.
Under Julien Leparoux, Gote Go rallied to take top spot in the $102,000 allowance event, just shy of one month after a fifth-place effort at the same distance.
“She got a great ride from Julien and we were very confident that she would run well and she did,” said Harrigan.
Gote Go debuted last August at Woodbine, finishing eighth in a six-furlong main track race. After a fifth on the Toronto oval’s Inner Turf and a second to Sleek Lynx on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, she broke her maiden courtesy of a half-length victory over 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta.
“I’ve known her since she was a foal,” started Harrigan. “We put her through a yearling sale, the July Fasig-Tipton Sale, and I didn’t get what I wanted, so we bought her back. I brought her down to Payson Park – I go there every winter with the 2-year-olds – and we had her in a 2-year-old sale. That was the year the 2-year-old sales were off because of COVID, so we took her out of the sale. I brought her back up here to Keeneland and trained her for a few weeks. I sent her to Roger. I told him, ‘Roger, most horses that come out of those 2-year-olds sales need time off, but this one doesn’t. Treat like she’s yours and onward you go.’”
Harrigan hopes Saturday’s effort is Gote Go’s best one yet.
“She broke her maiden at Woodbine and then we gave her some time off. I told Roger we shouldn’t worry about a horse that just won – let’s have a good year next year. That’s what we did. He brought her along and here we are today. We’re glad to be in there with a chance and I’m excited to have a horse I bred in there, in Roger’s hands.”
California Lily, Flash Drive, Sweet Souper Sweet, and Danger, are also set to go postward in the 68th running of the Selene.
Trainer Mark Casse has won a record six Selene crowns, including the past three editions. His first Selene score came in 2001 with Dark Ending.
The Selene is complemented by the Fury, a seven-furlong race over the Tapeta for three-year-old Canadian-bred fillies, also an important fixture ahead of the Oaks.
Lorena, a daughter of Souper Speedy, will look to make it three straight wins to start her career.
The dark bay, trained and co-owned by Stuart Simon, was impressive in her debut last November at Woodbine, and followed it up with a smart score on June 19 at the Toronto oval.
Brent and Russell McLellan, and former jockey Gerry Olguin are the other co-owners of Lorena.
Curlin’s Catch, winner of this year’s Suncoast Stakes, returns to Woodbine where she contested the first two races of her career. Bodacious Miss, boasting a mark of 1-0-0 from three starts, Owen’s Tour Guide, two-for-two, Victorian Queen stakes champ Il Malocchio, El Bayern, last year’s Muskoka Stakes winner, and Astrological, sixth in her debut, round out the field.
The Selene is race seven on Saturday’s 11-race card. The Fury is slated for race nine. First post time is 1:20 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com. Sunday’s card features a pair of important Queen’s Plate preps, the $150,000 Grade 3 Marine Stakes and $125,000 Queenston Stakes.
FIELD FOR THE $150,000 GRADE 3 SELENE
POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER
1 – Gote Go – Steven Bahen – Roger Attfield
2 – California Lily – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
3 – Our Flash Drive – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
4 – Il Malocchio – Kazushi Kimura – Martin Drexler
5 – Sweet Souper Sweet – Luis Contreras – Michael Trombetta
6 – Danger – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
7 – Munnyfor Ro – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
FIELD FOR THE $125,000 FURY
POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER
1 – Bodacious Miss – Justin Stein – Steve Owens
2 – Owen’s Tour Guide – Ademar Santos – William Armata
3 – Il Malocchio – Patrick Husbands – Martin Drexler
4 – Curlin’s Catch – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
5 – Lorena – Gary Boulager – Stuart Simon
6 – El Bayern – Sheena Ryan – Mike Mattine
7 – Astrological – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse