Love to Shop Beats the Boys in $125K Toronto Cup

September 3, 2023

Love to Shop and Emma-Jayne Wilson get the Toronto Cup victory (Michael Burns)

By Chris Lomon – Woodbine Communications

TORONTO— Love to Shop, at odds of 5-2, was full of run late to take the $125,000 Toronto Cup Stakes Presented by Crown Royal, Sunday at Woodbine.  

Arriving at the one-mile Toronto Cup off a third in the Ontario Colleen Stakes (G3T) on July 22, Love to Shop, the lone filly in the field of eight, emerged victorious courtesy of a strong stretch drive in the race for 3-year-olds contested over a “firm” E.P. Taylor turf.

Eyes On the King, one of three (Conman and Lifetime of Chance were the others) Mark Casse trainees, took the early lead and was 3 ½ lengths in front of Conman through an opening quarter in :23.28, as Emma-Jayne Wilson, board Love to Shop, settled into sixth spot.

On top by three lengths after a half in :45.86, Eyes On the King was then pressured to his outside by stablemate Conman heading into the turn for home. Wilson, who kept Love to Shop well within striking distance, gave her charge her cue at the top of the lane.

A head clear at the stretch call, the bay, trained by Kevin Attard, was resolute in the final yards, going on to secure a 1 ¼-length triumph in a time of 1:34.14. Conman edged Souper Blessing by a head for second. Sammy Stone was fourth, followed by British Artillery, Eyes On the King, Lifetime of Chance and Dream Jereem.

“I learned a little bit about her last time,” said Wilson, in reference to the Ontario Colleen. “I gave her the best trip I could. The last 70 yards, it got a little tight and I had to alter course, and she’s such a big, strong filly, so it wasn’t ideal. This time, I had the chance to get her into a nice, outside stalking trip, and let her get into rhythm. With three-eighths of a mile stretch run, I just tipped her off heels and let her build and build. She finished on strong, and she got the job done.”

It was the first stakes win for the daughter of Violence-Tiffany Case, who came to the Attard barn after three starts in the U.S. for Todd Pletcher, which included a maiden-breaking score at Belmont on June 10.

“I think she was the best horse in the race,” said Wilson. “I knew that going in and she ran like it.”

Owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, Love to Shop was bred in Kentucky by DJ Stable, LLC.

Launching her career with a pair of seconds, one at Saratoga, the other at Belmont, Love to Shop is now 2-2-1 from five starts.

She returned $7.70 for the win.  

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