Roxy Gap returns in Royal North

July 25, 2013

TORONTO, July 25 – Roxy Gap, honoured as Canada’s champion older female and champion female sprinter of 2012, makes her seasonal debut in Sunday’s Grade 3 $150,000 Royal North Stakes, at Woodbine.
Roxy Gap, the now five-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie, was a finalist in three Sovereign Award categories (losing only the Turf Female category to Irish Mission) on the back of graded scores in the Grade 2 Hendrie, Grade 3 Whimsical and Grade 2 Royal North.
Trained by Mark Casse, Roxy Gap captured last year’s Royal North, a six furlong sprint on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, with a determined front-running score over Atlantic Hurricane.
Roxy Gap resumed timed training at Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Florida on May 9 posting a trio of works before shipping up to Woodbine. Since returning to Casse’s barn, Roxy Gap has a steady string of breezes on the Woodbine main while preparing for her return.
"We thought about coming back in the Sweet Briar Too (won by Acting Naughty on July 6) but she wasn’t quite ready," said Casse.
Although five of her seven career scores have come on a synthetic surface, Roxy Gap is equally proficient on the turf where she boasts a record of 2-2-1 from five attempts.
"She’s been training very well. She looks great. I think she’s a bigger, stronger Roxy and I’m anxious to get her back on the turf," said Casse. "She’s ready to run, she won’t be short."
Luis Contreras takes over aboard Roxy Gap on Sunday in place of the injured Patrick Husbands.
With career earnings in excess of $860,000, Casse has set two key goals for the talented sprinter in 2013.
"I’d love for her to be champion older filly again and I’d love to get her over $1-million in earnings," said Casse.
In addition to locally-based Why Katherine, Heavenly Pride, Nikkis Smartypants and Little River, the Royal North has also attracted shippers Sensible Lady and Cat Lore.
Sensible Lady, a dark bay daughter of Street Sense trained by Alan Goldberg, has won two of three starts in 2013 including a score in the 5 1/2-furlong Buckland Stakes, at Colonial Downs. Justin Stein will partner the four-year-old multiple stakes-winning turf filly.
Cat Lore, a chestnut daughter of Discreet Cat trained by Michael Stidham, boasts a record of 2-0-2 in 2013. The four-year-old filly prevailed with a strong rally in an Arlington Park optional claiming turf event last time out. Emma-Jayne Wilson picks up the mount.
The Grade 3 Royal North is slated as Race 8 on Sunday’s 10-race card. Fans can watch and wager on the action via HorsePlayer Interactive. First post is 12:50 p.m. EST.
FIELD FOR THE GRADE 3 ROYAL NORTH
POST / HORSE / JOCKEY / TRAINER
1 / Why Katherine / Jermaine Bridgmohan / Kevin Attard
2 / Heavenly Pride / Jesse Campbell / Sid Attard
3 / Nikkis Smartypants / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Bob Tiller
4 / Sensible Lady / Justin Stein / Alan Goldberg
5 / Roxy Gap / Luis Contreras / Mark Casse
6 / Cat Lore / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Michael Stidham
7 / Little River / Gary Boulanger / Gail Cox
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