TORONTO, June 28, 2018—Turf stakes winners Niigon’s Eclipse, coming off a victory in the Grade 2 Nassau in her last start, and Jennifer Lynnette, who became a stakes winner here last year in the Grade 3 Royal North, are taking a significant edge as they drop for Sunday’s $100,000 Zadracarta Stakes.
The seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-bred fillies and mares has lured a robust field of 10.
Niigon’s Eclipse was running in a graded stakes for the first time in the Nassau and responded with a front-running upset over 1 1/16 miles.
“We felt she deserved the chance, especially with the way she’d run at Keeneland,” said trainer Rachel Halden, who had watched the 5-year-old finish a strong second when making her seasonal bow in a third-level turf allowance there. “We were delighted.”
Owned and bred by Chiefswood Stable, Niigon’s Edge finished a closing third in last year’s Zadracarta and became a stakes winner next out in the 1 1/16 mile Victoriana, a turf race for Ontario-sired fillies.
This weekend, Niigon’s Edge had the option of staying in Grade 2 turf company for the 1 ¼ mile Canadian.
“We had the option of running her at a distance quite unknown to her, or a distance she’s been effective at,” said Halden. “She’s doing very, very well.”
Jennifer Lynnette went to the sidelines after the Grade 3 Royal North at six furlongs last July 29. Returning to action this March, she ran well in turf sprint stakes at Gulfstream, Keeneland, and Belmont.
In her local seasonal bow, Jennifer Lynnette ended in a dead heat for fifth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths in the Grade 3 Hendrie over six furlongs of Tapeta.
“She’s better on the turn, for sure,” said Casse, who conditions the 5-year-old Jennifer Lynette for Manfred and Penny Conrad. “She should be extremely tough in this race.”
Casse also will send out Conrad Farm’s Listenlindalisten, who won the off-the-turf seven-furlong Passing Mood and 1 1/16 mile Eternal Search on the Tapeta last year over Ontario-sired filly competition.
The 4-year-old also ran well on turf when third in the Ontario Damsel, a one-mile race for Ontario-bred fillies.
But in her seasonal bow, facing Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies and mares in the six-furlong Ballade on the main track, Listenlindalisten gave way to finish last of nine.
“It was not good,” said Casse. “She didn’t train as well into that race as she did last year. She’s trained a little better since the last race.”
Patrick Husbands was named on both Casse runners.
The other stakes winners in the Zadracarta line-up are Sparkle’s Girl, who took the 2017 Classy ‘n Smart and the 2015 Ontario Lassie, both over 1 1/16 miles on the main track; Silent Sonet, successful in the La Prevoyante over one mile of turf here last fall; and Crumlin Spirit, the seven-furlong Lady Angela on the main track in 2016. All those wins came in Ontario-sired company.
Zadracarta, who inspired this race’s name, was a multiple sprint stakes winner locally and is most remembered for her head defeat in the Prix de l‘Abbaye, a Group 1 in which she faced males at Longchamp. As a broodmare, she produced stakes winner Major Zee and stakes-placed Zacharov.
FIELD FOR THE $100,000 ZADRACARTA STAKES
1/Sparkle’s Girl/Slade Callaghan/John Charalambous
2/Listenlindalisten/Patrick Husbands/Mark Casse
3/Jennifer Lynette/Patrick Husbands/Mark Casse
4/Inspired Vow/Rafael Hernandez/Norm McKnight
5/Sugar Jones/Alan Garcia/Mike Mattine
6/Niigon’s Eclipse/Gary Boulanger/Rachel Halden
7/Dublin Diva/Luis Contreras/Norm McKnight
8/Red Cabernet/Omar Moreno/Ian Black
9/Crumlin Spirit/David Moran/Mike Doyle
10/Silent Sonet/Eurico Rosa da Silva/Nick Gonzalez