TORONTO, June 21, 2020 – Jean Elizabeth earned her eighth consecutive stakes victory as she dominated her rivals in the $125,000 Whimsical Stakes (Grade 3) on the first summer Sunday of the Woodbine meet.
The popular shipper returned to the scene of her Sweet Briar Too and Grade 3 Ontario Fashion wins that launched her current streak last fall for trainer Larry Rivelli and co-owners Richard Ravin and Patricia’s Hope LLC.
Leaving from inside of her nine foes in the six-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares, Jean Elizabeth darted out for a quick three-length lead and set fractions of :22.36 and :44.78 en route to victory in 1:09.86. Summer Sunday, Canada’s reigning Champion Female Sprinter, chased the winner most of the way and finished third as Painting closed late to steal the runner-up honours.
“She’s a rocket,” said winning jockey David Moran. “I wasn’t expecting her to be that quick with her ears pricked down the back.”
Moran noted the speedy mare was just toying with her rivals.
“She just pricks her ears and I think she just waits for a bit of company to go on again.”
Jean Elizabeth, who set a stakes record last time out in February’s Lightning City at Tampa Bay Downs and is targeting the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, paid $3.40 to win. The five-year-old homebred daughter of Adios Charlie and Rooney Doodle now boasts a career record reading 15-4-2 from 21 starts and more than $680,000 in purse earnings.
Moran, who is a father of nine children with his wife Maria expecting in the coming weeks, took a moment after winning the first graded stakes of the meet to thank his kids for their Father’s Day cards and gifts and give a shout out to his own dad back home in Ireland.
He also went on to dedicate the race to a special horseman.
“I want to give a special mention today to Frank Forde – the backbone of horse racing here at Woodbine, one of the grooms – who passed away suddenly last week,” said Moran. “I’d like to dedicate this race to him.”
Hard work pays off for Hoyte
Jason Hoyte, a longtime respected exercise rider at Woodbine, celebrated his first Canadian win as he guided the three-year-old filly French Charm ($3.30) to a maiden-breaking score in the Sunday opener.
The daughter of Commissioner overtook longshot leader Classy n’ Silent down the stretch and held off Anita Grigio at the end of the 5-1/2-furlong contest to win in 1:06.18 for trainer Ricky Griffith and owners Steve Duffield and Racing Canada Inc.
“It means so much to me. It’s just a blessing come true. Hard work does pay off,” said Hoyte of his first Woodbine win.
Hoyte began his race riding career in Barbados back in 2000, winning his first race with Tikashar at the Garrison Savannah racetrack. He arrived in Canada in 2004 and started galloping horses for Steve Owens then became the go-to morning rider for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse for 16 years, breezing some of the biggest stars of the sport in preparation for the biggest races including the likes of Hall of Famers Tepin and Sealy Hill.
Hoyte, who was inspired by his friend and fellow jockey Keveh Nicholls to return to racing action, made just his 13th start a winning one.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues, without spectators, on Thursday, featuring the season’s debut of sprint sensation Pink Lloyd in the $125,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes (Grade 3). First post time is 3:45 p.m. ET. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com and tune into Racing Night Live on TSN3 and TSN5 from 6-8 p.m. for live racing from Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park.