TORONTO, July 29 – Jennifer Lynnette and jockey Patrick Husbands tracked down Kasuga in a thrilling photo finish to win Saturday’s co-featured $125,000 Royal North Grade 3 Stakes for fillies and mares three years old and up on the turf at Woodbine.
Kasuga and Jesse Campbell blasted out of the gate from post six to take the lead over Southern Ring (Eurico Rose da Silva) early in the six-furlong sprint, with Code Warrior (Anne Sanguinetti) and outsiders Salty Breeze (Emma-Jayne Wilson) and Skylander Girl (Rafael Hernandez), the 5-2 favourite, stacked four-wide.
Kasuga set fractions of :22.57 and :44.85 before extending her lead to four lengths turning for home, but Jennifer Lynnette rallied from second-to-last in the field that was scratched down to eight mares. She gained ground with every stride down the stretch and collared Kasuga at the wire in 1:08.17. Nobody’s Fault also closed from the backfield to finish third ahead of Code Warrior. Miss Gossip chased in fifth while Southern Ring, Skylander Girl and Salty Breeze faded.
Sent postward at odds of 8-1, Jennifer Lynnette paid $18.40, $9.00 and $5.00, combining with Kasuga ($8.90, $4.60) for a $143.70 (2-7) exacta. A 2-7-4 trifecta (Nobody’s Fault, $3.70 to show) was worth $441.40 and a $1 superfecta of 2-7-4-5 (Code Warrior) paid $4,057.50. Scatter Gun and River Maid were scratched.
Woodbine’s leading trainer Mark Casse conditions the Elusive Quality-Lynnette mare, who earned her third win this year to go along with stakes placings in the $125,000 Hendrie Grade 3 (6-1/2 furlong tapeta) and $100,000 Zadracarta (7 furlong turf).
“Looking at the race, it looked like a pretty tough race in terms of my horse,” said Husbands. “I just said the only way I feel like I can win is just wait and give her one run. I let the field go then she picked it up and she got to the outside and just started to run.”
The victory capped off an eventful week of racing for owners Penny and Manfred Conrad of Conrad Farms who watched their top thoroughbred State of Honor finish a brave third in the Prince Of Wales at Fort Erie after some poor racing luck when he took a bad step at the eighth pole.
“We’re so pleased and thank you to Mark and all his team: Katherine, David and Paul. And they’ve been such a great help this week with State of Honor, but today we’re just thrilled,” said Penny Conrad. “We haven’t been in here [the stakes winner’s circle] too often, but we’re knocking all the time so it’s great.”
Jennifer Lynnette now sports a resume reading 4-3-3 from 11 lifetime starts and earnings just shy of $240,000.
“She’s going so well, and she’s just a great, great little horse and we are just tickled pink,” said Conrad. “And today the competition was great so we thought we didn’t have a chance and here we are!”
The Conrads also provided an update on State of Honor during their post-win interview.
“We visited him, we gave him mints, carrots — he’s content and happy,” said Penny.
“He might even be back next year, you never know,” added Manfred.