TORONTO, November 10, 2021 – Juxtapose, a four-year-old daughter of Verrazano-Aldara, goes after her first added-money win in Saturday’s Grade 2 $175,000 Bessarabian Stakes, at Woodbine.
The seven-furlong main track feature for fillies and mares, three-years-old and upward, has drawn nine starters, including Juxtapose.
Trained by Steve Owens, the Kentucky-bred heads into her second straight stakes date after notching a third in the Grade 3 Ontario Matron on October 10 at Woodbine.
That effort came after a seven-furlong grass win, the sixth victory of her career, on August 22 at Woodbine.
Sent off at 8-1, Juxtapose rallied from fourth at the stretch call to claim a head score over firm going on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The dark bay brings a record of 6-0-3 from 13 starts into the Bessarabian for owners James Redekop and Stefan Ferrario.
“Juxtapose, she’s a nice little filly who tries hard every race,” praised Owens. “She’s a little difficult to train, but she gives 110 percent every time we take her out there in the afternoon.”
Bred by Alvin D. Haynes Estate, Juxtapose debuted on October 5, 2019, finishing sixth in a 5 ½-furlong sprint over the Toronto oval’s main track.
Two weeks later, she broke her maiden, the start of a three-race win streak.
“She’s always been a very consistent horse,” said Owens. “She’s very aggressive in the morning, but she’s all business when the gate opens.”
Last year, she went 2-0-2 from six starts. In 2021, she’s 2-0-1 from four appearances.
Owens, closing in on 300 career wins, has a good idea of what to expect from Juxtapose in the Bessarabian.
“She’s a little better, I feel, on the turf, but she’ll run on broken glass. She does whatever you need her to do out there.”
If recent patterns are any indication of what’s in store for Juxtapose on Saturday, Owens will no doubt be encouraged.
In her last seven starts, she’s finished third, first, fifth, first, fifth, first and third, respectively.
“If that’s the pattern, we really do [have something to look forward to]. She’s at a good distance. She’s cutting back from a mile-and-a-sixteenth and she had a really lovely work on the weekend, :48, out in a minute and one-fifth. She had a really nice work two weeks ago that set her up for that one, :59 and change, and galloped out in 1:12.1. So, she’s coming into the race in the right condition.”
Trainer Roger Attfield and Kinghaven Farms teamed to win the first two editions of the Bessarabian – in 1985 with Summer Mood and one year later with Playlist.
Conditioner Josie Carroll has won three runnings of the Bessarabian, including in 2017 and 2018, both with Moonlit Promise. She also won with Smart Surprise in 2008 and sends out Gidgetta this year.
The race is named after Canada’s champion older female of 1986, a multiple stakes winning daughter of Vice Regent trained by Michael Doyle and owned by Eaton Hall Farm. She finished her racing career with an 18-5-4 mark from 37 starts.
Also on Saturday, 10 fillies and mares, three-years-old and upward, will travel 1 ¼-miles on the Tapeta in the Grade 3 $150,000 Maple Leaf Stakes.
Starters include the Mark Casse-trained foursome of Art of Almost, Broadway Lady, Crystal Glacier and Skygaze.
Graham Motion will send out Sister Otoole, a four-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Amira’s Prince (IRE), who sports a 2-3-3 record from 10 starts.
The race, inaugurated in 1892, was won by Heavenly Curlin last year.
Conn Smythe, principal owner of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs from 1927 to 1961 and builder of Maple Leaf Gardens, leads all owners with seven Maple Leaf crowns.
The Bessarabian is carded as race eight on Saturday’s 11-race program. The Maple Leaf goes as race seven. First post is 12:55 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action through HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
FIELD FOR THE BESSARABIAN
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Gidgetta – Patrick Husbands – Josie Carroll
2 – La Libertee – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
3 – Spun Glass – Luis Contreras – Michael Trombetta
4 – Lady Speightspeare (S) – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Roger Attfield
5 – Aug Lutes – Antonio Gallardo – Michael Trombetta
6 – Juxtapose – Gary Boulanger – Steve Owens
7 – Our Secret Agent – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
8 – Emmeline – Justin Stein – John Mattine
9 – Tuned (GB) – Daisuke Fukumoto – Graham Motion
FIELD FOR THE MAPLE LEAF
1 – Merveilleux – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
2 – Art of Almost – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
3 – Skygaze – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
4 – Sister Otoole – Kazushi Kimura – Graham Motion
5 – La Lune (GB) – David Moran – Edward Vaughan
6 – Peace Seeker – Antonio Gallardo – Nick Nosowenko
7 – Broadway Lady – Shaun Bridgmohan – Mark Casse
8 – Ann of Cleves – Keveh Nicholls – John LeBlanc Jr.
9 – Crystal Glacier – Gary Boulanger – Mark Casse
10 – Lake Lucerne – Rafael Hernandez – Brendan Walsh
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