Odds-on Caren, with Jesse Campbell up, withstood a late charge from Crumlin Spirit to win the featured $125,000 Victorian Queen Stakes Saturday at Woodbine, her third added money score of the year.
The six furlong stake for Ontario-sired two-year-old fillies went postward with only six hopefuls, after the scratches of Marilyns Last Love and Keeplaffinleslie, and Caren was the only stakes winner in the field, having taking the Nandi and Shady Well during the summer.
The Mike DePaulo trainee had suffered her only loss in four trips in her last outing on September 12 when trying grass for the first time in the Grade 2, one mile Natalma, but still finished a game third, almost six lengths behind the Breeders’ Cup-bound runaway winner Catch a Glimpse.
After shadowing Pure Purity through fractions of :23.08 and :46.12, Caren took over turning for home, opened a couple of lengths on her rivals, then was rousted late to outlast a closing Crumlin Spirit by three-quarters of a length, getting the distance in 1:10.46 over the Polytrack. Sparkles’ Girl was a length further back in third.
Owned by Robert Marzilli, the daughter of Society’s Chairman-Jo Zak was a $45,000 yearling purchase at the Fasig-Tipton October sale and with Saturday’s purse of $75,000, has now banked over $240,000.
“I’ve been saying it for multiple races,” said Campbell. “I never had that worry that she wouldn’t rate. A couple of those races that she was in front, we weren’t going that fast. Nothing rank about her. She listens to me and waits until I give her the cues. She’s a racehorse.
“It (the Natalma) was just a tougher race. She rated very kindly in that race. I thought she ran a tremendous race. My first comment to Mike was she ran a winning race. She’s shown up every time. She’s a sweetheart.”
Added DePaulo, “She looked like she switched leads a little (in mid-stretch). I don’t know if she lost a little concentration. But Jesse got her rolling again and off she went. Maybe she’ll have one more (start this year). We’ll try to stretch her out again and see how that goes.”
Sent postward the prohibitive 1-2 choice, Caren returned $3.10, $2.30 and $2.10, combining with Crumlin Spirit ($3.70, $2.90) for an $11.90 (7-4) exactor. The 7-4-8 (Sparkles’ Girl, $3.50) triactor was worth $47.90, while a $1 Superfecta [7-4-8-1 (Perfect Ella)] paid $41.25.