TORONTO– The Grade 3 $150,000 Whimsical Stakes headlines Sunday’s nine-race card at Woodbine.
Seven starters, including multiple stakes winner Lorena, are set to go postward in the Whimsical, a six-furlong main track event for fillies and mares, four-year-olds and up.
Trained by Stuart Simon, who co-owns with Brent McLellan, Russell McLellan, and Kai Olguin, the four-year-old daughter of Souper Speedy-Negotiable arrives at Sunday’s sprint feature on a two-race win streak.
“She’s doing really well,” said Simon, of Lorena, whose only two-year-old start yielded a 7 ½-length win at 5 ½-furlongs over the Woodbine main track, on November 21, 2020. “She had a nice little vacation in Ocala and then started training there in the middle of January. She’s coming along nicely. She’s been back home here at Woodbine since the last week of March.”
Lorena took the first two starts of her sophomore campaign, including a three-quarter length score in the Fury Stakes last July. After an eighth-place finish in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser, she rebounded in style with a 1 ¼-length victory in the Algoma Stakes at the end of August.
The Ontario-bred (Dr. Liam Gannon) dark bay, who finished fifth in the Duchess Stakes in September, capped off her excellent 2021 campaign with victories in the Thunder Bay and Ashbridges Bay Stakes, giving Lorena five wins from seven starts on the season.
“She was impressive for various reasons,” praised Simon. “When she went through the Oaks grind, came through that, won the [Algoma] Sales Stakes, and then went on to show such versatility in winning the stakes race [Thunder Bay] on the grass, then one at two turns [Ashbridges Bay] – she just never disappointed. It’s hard to pick one race that stood out above the others. It was about her overall versatility, racing over different surfaces and at different distances, along with her grit and determination, which comes to mind. She wants to win wherever she runs.”
Simon is still trying to figure out what surface and what distance suits his star best.
“We’ll see where this takes us. Because of her versatility, I have to be honest, I’m not quite sure what she’s very best at, whether it’s seven-eighths on the main track or she may be a miler on the turf. We’ve got a lot of options with her. This is a starting point to see what direction we go in.”
The path the six-time winner from eight starts eventually takes includes plans for Lorena’s life after the racetrack.
“She’s got the restricted stuff, but for her broodmare value, we’d like to hopefully get some Open status, and Graded status. She seems to be going in this race in good order, so we’ll see where this takes us, which road we go down from here.”
The Whimsical goes as race six with a 1:10 first race post time. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com and the Dark Horse Bets app.
FIELD FOR THE WHIMSICAL
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Lorena – Gary Boulanger – Stuart Simon
2 – Dreaming of Drew – Patrick Husbands – Barbara Minshall
3 – Dirty Dangle – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
4 – Artie’s Princess – Reylu Gutierrez – Saffie Joseph Jr.
5 – Boardroom – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
6 – Our Secret Agent – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
7 – Millennium Force – Antonio Gallardo – Martin Drexler
Woodbine Press Release
Photo: Lorena earns top honours in the Ashbridges Bay Stakes carrying Gary Boulanger to victory at Woodbine. (Michael Burns Photo)