TORONTO, May 26, 2019 – Secret Message came flying late to reel in runaway leader Starship Jubilee down the stretch in Sunday’s one-mile Grade 2 Nassau Stakes, the first turf stakes of the 2019 Woodbine meet.
Fresh off a late-closing victory in the Dahlia Stakes over one-mile of turf at Laurel Park last month, Woodbine newcomer Secret Message defeated Canada’s reigning Champion Turf Female by three-quarters of a length in 1:35.30 over yielding turf with jockey Trevor McCarthy aboard for trainer Graham Motion.
The $175,000 Nassau Stakes, featuring older fillies and mares, is the first leg of Woodbine’s new “Ladies of the Lawn” bonus stakes series on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Secret Message settled off the pace and was at the back of the pack along the inside heading into the final turn, but came through between horses chasing Starship Jubilee, who had taken command at three-quarters in 1:11.62 and got out to a three-length lead.
“The plan was to just let her break and get her to settle,” said McCarthy. “She was pretty sharp today, so I was a little nervous about how good she would break but she really turned out nice. We got some nice cover, we were able to the follow the three [No. 3 Starship Jubilee] the whole way around there and get through and get the job done.
“It’s a long stretch, it’s fun. Big sweeping turns so you can save plenty of ground and you have plenty of time to get through and get the job done.”
Secret Message hauled down 4-5 favourite Starship Jubilee and paid $6.60 to win as the 2-1 second choice. Get Explicit finished 5-3/4 lengths back in third ahead of Red Cabernet, with Summer Luck fifth followed by Ghostly Presence, who had led through first-half fractions of :24.65 and :47.90.
Bred by Allen Tennenbaum, Secret Message is now two-for-two to start her four-year-old campaign and has won five of her 11 starts overall including another graded turf score in the 2018 Pucker Up at Arlington Park.
A career winner of more than $350,000 in purses, the Hat Trick-Westside Singer filly is owned by Madaket Stables, ERJ Racing, Elayne Stable 5 and Bouchey Thoroughbred Ventures.
Woodbine adds Wednesday nights to its live Thoroughbred racing schedule this week with first race post time set for 6:45 p.m.