Unraced three-year-old filly Luvutothemoonnback will launch her racing career this Sunday in the featured $125,000 Fury Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack.
Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, who earned his 10th Sovereign Award for Outstanding Trainer at last week’s gala, won the 2017 Fury Stakes with Enstone as well as four consecutive editions from 2011-2014.
This year, he will send out the career-debuting Luvutothemoonnback in the seven-furlong sprint for Canadian-foaled three-year-old fillies.
“She’s a filly that we’ve kind of always liked from the beginning and she had a couple of minor injuries as a two-year-old so we never got to run her,” explained Casse. “We’ve had her down at our training center all winter long. We actually tried to enter her opening weekend and the race didn’t go and we just felt like she was training well enough that we would give her a shot in the stake. We do that quite often.”
The Malibu Moon filly, whose dam Nadeshiko is a half-sibling to multiple graded stakes winner Imperative, was a $300,000 yearling purchase from the Keeneland sale by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds. She was bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms and Rod Ferguson Farms.
“We kind of feel like she’s a filly that is going to get better with distance so this race may be a touch short for her, but she’s a beautiful filly and we think she has some talent,” beamed Casse.
Woodbine’s leading stakes winner last season with 18 victories, Casse will be looking for his first stakes title of the meet this weekend after just missing with disqualified first-place finisher Machtree in the Wando on opening day. He will also send out Live Oak Plantation’s Let It Ride Mom in Saturday’s $125,000 Whimsical Stakes (Grade 3).
“She’s a filly we gave some time off,” said Casse of Let It Ride Mom, who has finished no worse than second in her Woodbine starts and won the La Lorgnette Stakes over 1-1/16 miles last September. “She’s definitely shown a fondness to the synthetic [track] at Woodbine. The race may be just a touch short for her, but we’re just trying to get her back in action.”
Jockey Rafael Hernandez, who kicked off the meet riding eight winners over opening weekend including Jacques Cartier champion Pink Lloyd, will pick up the mount in the Fury Stakes on last year’s Nandi and Muskoka Stakes winner Summer Sunday from the Stuart Simon stable.
The Fury field also includes the 2017 Shady Well Stakes champion Glamanation and Avie’s Mineshaft, who missed by just a nose in the Princess Elizabeth. Queen’s Fate will be trainer Michael Maker’s first Woodbine stakes starter since opening a stable based on the backstretch for the meet. Jamaica Me Home completes the lineup.
The $125,000 Fury Stakes is scheduled at race eight on Sunday’s 1 p.m. program. The complete field is listed below in post position order.
$125,000 Fury Stakes
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1. Avie’s Mineshaft – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
2. Luvutothemoonnback – Gary Boulanger – Mark Casse
3. Jamaica Me Home – Devon Johnson – Gordon Colbourne
4. Glamanation – David Moran – Michael Doyle
5. Summer Sunday – Rafael Hernandez – Stuart Simon
6. Queen’s Fate – Alan Garcia – Michael Maker