Rookie fillies look to shine in My Dear / Sophomores tussle on the turf in Greenwood

July 29, 2020

TORONTO, July 29, 2020 – Seven two-year-olds, including Silent Mamba, take to the main track for the $100,000 My Dear Stakes, while six three-year-old Ontario-breds test out the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in the $150,000 Greenwood Stakes presented by Stella Artois, Saturday at Woodbine.

A daughter of Silent Name (JPN), Silent Mamba, trained by Harold Ladouceur, and owned by his wife, Jessie Ladouceur, made a solid first impression in her career bow on July 4 at Woodbine.

Travelling 4 ½-furlongs on the Tapeta, the Adena Springs-bred miss romped to a four-length win with Justin Stein in the irons.

The race wasn’t without drama. Nero Davola, with Sahin Civaci riding, was leading at the stretch call, but the Ontario-bred daughter of Old Forester tried to jump the rail and fell, unseating Civaci.

Silent Mamba was steadied, but snaked around the fallen pair, and went on to victory under a hand ride.

Now, Silent Mamba will tackle 5 ½-furlongs on the Toronto oval Tapeta, a distance her trainer feels is well within the dark bay’s grasp.

“She’s nice. She has a lot of guts and she’s fast. I couldn’t believe how she dodged out of the way in that first race, cleared everything and still went on. I was sorry for what happened to the other horse in the race [Nero Davola came back to finish second on July 25]. I thought we were going to get second – and I would have been happy with that – but she ended up getting the win.”

Recent works, including four furlongs (breezing from the gate) in :48.60 on the Woodbine main, have also pleased Ladouceur.

“We really like her,” said the conditioner, who will go after his fifth career stakes victory. “She does everything so well, in the morning and in the afternoon. It’s sad because [jockey] Jeffrey Alderson was helping me out in the spring, and he was working her. He loved her. And then he went out and got hurt. He got along well with the babies, but Justin did a great job with her in that first race.”

Ladouceur, who has a 4-4-3 record from 27 starts in 2020, is hoping for one thing in particular when Silent Mamba loads into the gate Saturday.

“A little less drama would be nice this time.”

Silent Mamba winning her career debut on July 4 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Artemus Citylimits, trained by Wesley Ward, brings a record of two wins and a third from three starts into the Greenwood Stakes presented by Stella Artois.

Bred in Ontario by Gunpowder Farms LLC, the son of Temple City won his latest start, 5 ½-furlongs on the Churchill Downs main track, in a June 28 race originally scheduled for the grass.

Unraced at two, Artemus Citylimits finished third in his first appearance at Woodbine on June 14.

The Greenwood will represent his first stakes try and first time racing on the grass.

“We didn’t really know what we had,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Goldenberg, of the bay who won his debut, a six-furlong race on the Turfway Park synthetic on March 14. “The Turfway race, he kind of struggled. He won – and he ran a good time – but he didn’t blow them out. He was off for three months and came up here [Woodbine]. Some of them settle in better than most. With [Ward trainee] Owlette, she can go anywhere. The second race for Artemus, it was his first trip away from Kentucky. He had been at Woodbine for a week, and near the end, he was just starting to settle in. But he’s a colt and he was a little on edge. He did rate a little bit in the race, but he just didn’t have enough to get them.”

Goldenberg is looking forward to seeing how Artemus Citylimits fares on one of the top turf courses in the world.

“He started racing at three, and that’s not usually the program we go through. He’s shown more maturity in his three races than we might have expected. Wesley, right after Artemus won that race at Churchill, he wanted to bring the horse back to Woodbine and have him try stakes competition. Any time you get to go on this turf course, it’s a treat in itself. I know Wesley really likes the E.P. course – it’s one of his favourites.”

Bred and owned by Colebrook Farms, and trained by Ashlee Brnjas, Celebratory will get his first shot at stakes action in the Greenwood.

The gelded son of Congrats raced on the Woodbine Tapeta in his first four starts before taking to the turf for his past two engagements.

On June 7, in his seasonal debut, Congrats finished second at 22-1, just a head back of the winner, over six panels on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

“I was actually just watching the replay and this little horse, he was game. He loves the turf. He’s not tough to deal with, but he’s a hard-knocking type.”

In his most recent start, on July 5, the bay held a half-length lead in the stretch, and crossed the wire fifth, 3 ½-lengths behind winner Unilateral in a seven-furlong maiden special weight grass race.

Brnjas, 10 wins shy of 300 for her career, believes the cut back to six furlongs will help Celebratory’s chances in the Greenwood.

“We got into a bit of a speed duel, and he didn’t have anything to run at,” offered Brnjas, of the July 5 effort. “I think he burned himself out on the front end. So, we’re going to shorten back up. We know he’s going to give it all he’s got.”

The Greenwood is Race 7 and the My Dear is Race 3 on Saturday’s 11-race card, which also features the 1-3/8-mile opening leg of Woodbine’s Turf Endurance Series (Race 10). First post time is 1 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.

FIELD FOR THE $150,000 GREENWOOD STAKES

POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER

1 – Forester’s Fortune (S) – Daisuke Fukumoto – Rodney Barrow

2 – Forester’s Turn – (S) – Kazushi Kimura – Robert Tiller

3 – Artemus Citylimits – Luis Contreras – Wesley Ward

4 – Celebratory – Leo Salles – Ashlee Brnjas

5 – Barilko – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Catherine Day Phillips

6 – Last American Exit – Sahin Civaci – Robert Tiller

FIELD FOR THE $100,000 MY DEAR STAKES

POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER

1 – Joy’s Rocket – Luis Contreras – Steve Asmussen

2 – Rocket Reload – Rafael Hernandez – Michael De Paulo

3 – Emmeline – Davy Moran – John Mattine

4 – Rotary – Skye Chernetz – Bonnie Eshelman

5 – Silent Mamba – Justin Stein – Harold Ladouceur

6 – Road to Romance – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse

7 – Queen Rhonda (S) – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Tim Rycroft

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