Canada’s HOTY Starship Jubilee to return to the Spa for $500K Diana (G1)

August 13, 2020

Blue Heaven Farm’s Starship Jubilee, Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year and last-out winner of the Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa, will return to Saratoga for the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana on August 23.

Trainer Kevin Attard said he had also considered Saturday’s 10-furlong Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine Racetrack, but made the decision to return to the Spa for the nine-furlong Diana.

“The fact that we get an extra week and it’s a mile and an eighth, which I think is her best distance, were strong incentives to head back out there,” said Attard.

The 7-year-old Indy Wind mare posted a record of 7-3-3-1 last year with purse earnings of $604,929, topped by wins in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor and Grade 2 Canadian at Woodbine.

Claimed for $16,000 in May 2017 at Gulfstream Park by Tino Attard, Kevin’s father, the bay mare has since won 15 starts. She is a perfect 4-for-4 in 2020 and the veteran conditioner said Starship Jubilee’s temperament is key to her continued success.

“She’s just happy. I’ve found in the past that once she gets her confidence going she gets real tough,” said Attard. “We’ve spaced out her races well enough and tried to pick out the best spots for her to have a successful run.”

Starship Jubilee has posted graded wins at four different tracks and shown an ability to transfer her talent from Woodbine’s expansive 1 ½-mile E.P. Taylor Turf Course to the tighter turns at Saratoga.

Attard attributed that success to one very simple fact.

“She’s just a good horse,” said Attard. 

Attard said he will again ship Starship Jubilee to the care of Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who saddled the mare for her Ballston Spa score. 

Last out, with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano up, Starship Jubilee prevailed by a neck over expected Diana rivals Call Me Love and 2018 Champion Turf Female Sistercharlie, despite hitting the gate at the break. 

The probable Diana field is also likely to include multiple graded-stakes placed Feel Glorious, last-out Grade 2 New York victress Mean Mary and five-time Grade 1-winner Rushing Fall. 

While Attard said he would prefer to be in Saratoga for the Diana, he would settle for a repeat of his Ballston Spa experience when cheering Starship Jubilee home from the Woodbine paddock.

“It’s unfortunate I won’t be able to come up, but I enjoyed watching the first one on TV and I’d be more than happy to root her home on TV again in a Grade 1 at Saratoga,” said Attard.

NYRA Press/ Photo Credit: NYRA

An amazing article. Well done @jonathanstettin #ruffian…

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