Hard Edge closes out 2022 with an allowance optional claiming score Nov. 19 at Woodbine (Michael Burns)
By Chris Lomon – Woodbine Communications
TORONTO— Hard Edge chases her first added-money win in Saturday’s Grade 3 $150,000 Whimsical Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Stuart Simon, Hard Edge will take on seven rivals, including multiple graded stakes winner and multiple 2022 Sovereign Award finalist (female sprinter, older main track female) Our Flash Drive, in the six-furlong Whimsical, a main track event for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and upward.
A daughter of Hard Spun, Hard Edge went 2-3-1 from seven starts in 2022. Overall, the Chiefswood Stables’ homebred is 3-5-2 from 11 career outings, with $220,890 (U.S.) in lifetime earnings.
The 5-year-old mare, who owns a 2-2-0 mark from four efforts at six furlongs, capped off her most recent campaign with a 3 ¾-length win over the distance on the Woodbine main last November.
The Whimsical will mark Hard Edge’s first start of the year.
“You wish they were all like her,” praised Simon. “She’s so easy to train and is very laid-back in her training. But every time the gate opens, she answers the bell. If they were all like her, it would be an easy game. She can be a little aggressive around the barn. She’s not a pet, but she’s just a good eater, a good doer, and does everything right. She’s never too hard on herself.”
Hard Edge debuted in September 2021, finishing second in the 6 ½-furlong Tapeta race. She followed it up with a second and third before breaking her maiden that December courtesy of a gritty head score at 6 ½ panels over the Tapeta.
Her only previous stakes appearance came in last year’s Sweet Briar Too Stakes, where she was fourth, only 1 ¾ lengths behind eventual champion female sprinter Hazelbrook, in the 6 ½-furlong Tapeta tilt for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up.
“She’s been working well leading up to this. Usually, she’s not a great workhorse in the morning, but she has been this spring. She seems to be as good or better than she ever has. So, we’re looking for a big race.”
Regular rider Eswan Flores gets the call.
First-race post time on Saturday is 1:10 p.m., with the Whimsical scheduled as the afternoon’s eighth race. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
$150,000 Whimsical Stakes
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Miss Speedy – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse
2 – Forest Drift – Daisuke Fukumoto – Robert Tiller
3 – Our Flash Drive – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
4 – Owen’s Tour Guide – Rafael Hernandez – Willie Armata
5 – Baby No Worries – Antonio Gallardo – Tim Girten
6 – Ambassador Luna – Declan Carroll – Mark Casse
7 – Basalt Street – Kazushi Kimura – Kevin Attard
8 – Hard Edge – Eswan Flores – Stuart Simon