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Jolie Olimpica triumphs over Woodbine turf to take Nassau Stakes

July 24, 2021

TORONTO, July 24, 2021 – Fox Hill Farm’s Jolie Olimpica bested a field of a dozen distaffers to take the $175,000 Nassau, a one-mile Grade 2 stakes for fillies and mares four years old and up, featured on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.

Making her Woodbine debut on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, Jolie Olimpica stalked the pacesetter Honey Cake while racing outside of 2020 Nassau runner-up Another Time through fractions of :23.94, :47.63 and 1:10.69. The Brazilian-bred daughter of Drosselmeyer rallied three-wide on the turn and pulled ahead down the lane en route to victory in 1:34.83 over the ‘firm’ course.

Jolie Olimpica paid $5.30 to win as the 8-5 favourite as she finished three-quarters of a length ahead of 7-2 second choice Abscond, who closed strongly from the backfield to place. Our Secret Agent rounded out the top three finish order 2 ½ lengths behind.

“She was so nice and great the whole way,” said winning jockey Luis Contreras. “I was confident every single step of the way and turning for home, it felt like she was just breaking from the gate again.”

Bred by Stud T N T, the classy chestnut mare has finished no worse than third in 10 lifetime starts. A Group 1 winner in Brazil, Jolie Olimpica has earned more than $450,000 in purses and six career victories, including last year’s Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes and Grade 3 Las Cienegas at Santa Anita.

The multiple graded stakes winning five-year-old was previously trained by Richard Mandella stateside before joining the stable of Canadian Hall of Famer Josie Carroll this season at Woodbine.

Carroll noted the mare has been ready to run for a long time with the delayed season and opted for the Nassau’s one-turn mile to allow her to relax better in the race and make an easier lead.

“What an honour to have these silks,” said Carroll in reference to the white and red colours representing Fox Hill and its late founder Rick Porter. “It was wonderful that Mr. Porter sent this horse here and that his family left her with me with his passing. I’m delighted that she won in his honour in one of the big choices that he made. He’s made such great choices and had such great horses over the years that I hope we can carry on his tradition.”

Jolie Olimpica and jockey Luis Contrera winning the $175,000 Nassau Stakes (Grade 2) on Saturday, July 24 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)
Jolie Olimpica and jockey Luis Contreras winning the $175,000 Nassau Stakes (Grade 2) on Saturday, July 24 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

Live Thoroughbred racing resumes at Woodbine Racetrack on Sunday, featuring the $100,000 Niagara Stakes. Post time for the 11-race card is 1:10 p.m.

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