A field of nine, including Unseen Angels, will take the spotlight in Race 10 on Saturday at Woodbine, in the inaugural running of the $50,000 Lady in Red Handicap, an event exclusively for chestnut fillies and mares.
Contested at seven furlongs on the Toronto oval Tapeta, the Lady in Red is part of an exceptional afternoon of racing that includes the $125,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes.
Trained by Norm McKnight for owner Bruno Schickedanz, Unseen Angels will look to notch her 11th career win.
“I think she’s well-known to everyone here at Woodbine,” said McKnight. “She’s just been a hard-knocking filly all along. It’s been unfortunate that we haven’t been able to get her started very much this year so far – either the races haven’t gone or we’ve had other horses for spots – but we’ve been targeting this race for some time.”
A five-year-old daughter of Kantharos, Unseen Angels has one win and a second from three starts this season. Last year, the chestnut mare reeled off five wins, accompanied by a pair of seconds and thirds, in 13 starts.
The Florida-bred, who has raced outside of Woodbine just twice (both at Tampa Bay Downs), began her career with three wins in her first five starts, in 2016.
Now, Unseen Angels will look to add to her win and bankroll totals with a triumph in the Lady in Red.
“She’s ultra-consistent and she’s pretty straightforward in her training,” noted McKnight. “She doesn’t run into too many hiccups along the way. The only thing with this race is that she’s a small filly and she has never carried a lot of weight – she’s probably just around 15 hands.”
And she can be a handful at times.
“She’s got a little devil in her,” McKnight said with a laugh. “She can be pretty cranky.”
If Unseen Angels does manage to win Saturday’s race, the trainer will put on singer Chris de Burgh’s 1986 worldwide hit, The Lady in Red, and do a victory dance, so to speak.
“I can do that,” said McKnight. “Absolutely.”
As part of Saturday’s live racing card, fans can meet members of the Woodbine jockey colony in the New Player Zone on the second floor of the Grandstand, prior to the first race from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Those in attendance can also enter for a chance to receive a $1,000 Win bet for the Lady in Red Handicap by registering with guest experience representatives in the Grandstand on Saturday.
Other Lady In Red festivities include red wine tasting, courtesy of Mark Anthony Wines featuring Mission Hill wines, and tote bag giveaways in the Dining Room.
FIELD FOR THE LADY IN RED HANDICAP (Race 10)
Post / Horse / Jockey / Trainer
1 / She’s Got Friends / Jerome Lermyte / Patrick Huffman
2 / Northern Fern / Ron Sadler / Steven Bahen
3 / Bella Figura / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Steven Chircop
4 / Conquer the Sky / Gary Boulanger / Mike Mattine
5 / Belle Danseuse / Simon Husbands / Nathan Squires
6 / Miss Forester / Omar Moreno / Scott Fairlie
7 / Flashy Patch / Davy Moran / Niall Collum
8 / Bear Kitty / Patrick Husbands / Michelle Love
9 / Unseen Angels / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Norm McKnight