Notice Me, an emphatic 5 1/2-length maiden winner last time out, heads a talented group of fillies in Saturday’s $100,000 Victorian Queen Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Catherine Day Phillips for owners Kingfield Racing Stable, Ltd., P. A. Fullerton Stables Inc. and Peter C. Reich, the dark bay daughter of Court Vision showed promise on debut when rallying from ninth to be second to next out Muskoka Stakes champ Speedy Soul.
Notice Me made her second start a winning one when prominently positioned by leading rider Eurico Rosa da Silva before widening at will. A $50,000 purchase at the 2017 Canadian Premier Yearling Sale, Notice Me caught her conditioner’s eye thanks to a resemblance to another dark bay Court Vision progeny currently in a starring role in the Day Phillips barn, the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile runner-up Mr Havercamp.
“She’s by Court Vision and her face looks a little bit like ‘Havercamp’ so the first time I saw her I was reminded of him,” recalled Day Phillips. “I liked that she’s a big filly and I liked the way she walked.”
Leaving from post 11 of 12 on debut, Notice Me rallied five-wide to earn the place position behind Speedy Soul. Day Phillips preferred not to blame the post for the first-out result.
“I don’t know. She got some experience out of the race and it set her up well for her next start,” said Day Phillips. “It’s not a bad thing to be second, first time out.”
Notice Me’s follow-up effort certainly displayed a degree of class.
“She put it all together nicely and was quite smart about the situation. I was very happy with her,” said Day Phillips. “She’s done everything right from the beginning and we’ve been very happy with her. She came out of her first couple of races really well and I’m looking forward to seeing her run on Saturday.”
To win Saturday’s six-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired juvenile fillies, Notice Me will have to topple a field of seven that includes maiden winners Georgian Dancer, Moksgmol and Ishiyaya.
Georgian Dancer, trained by Robert Tiller for Goldmart Farms, romped by 4 1/4-lengths in her five-furlong debut. Last time out, the Souper Speedy bay rallied from ninth to finish fourth in the Muskoka Stakes. Emma-Jayne Wilson retains the mount.
Moksgmol, a debut winning daughter of Cold Harbor, has tried a pair of stakes since landing fifth in the Shady Well and tenth, following a troubled trip, in the Muskoka. Rafael Hernandez takes over from Luis Contreras who will pilot maiden Katla’s Fury.
Ishiyaya, a bay daughter of Court Vision trained by Mike Mattine, rallied to be fifth on debut behind Victorian Queen rivals Notice Me and Katla’s Fury. Last time out, Ishiyaya was pushed into contention following a slow start in a five-furlong maiden sprint en route to a ridden-out score under Patrick Husbands.
Preferred Quest, a rallying second in the Muskoka on debut, and Silent Mistake complete the field.
While Notice Me is cutting back in distance on Saturday, Day Phillips expects Notice Me will eventually take a try at longer events.
“I think we’ll stretch out. This race was here and it’s three weeks after her maiden score, so it made sense to go here,” said Day Phillips. “I don’t think she’s limited to sprinting. She’s got some growing to do and I think she’ll have a little more stretch and reach as she gets older. I think she’ll continue to develop nicely.”
The Victorian Queen is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s 11-race card. First post time is 1 p.m.
FIELD FOR THE $100,000 VICTORIAN QUEEN STAKES
POST / HORSE / JOCKEY / TRAINER
1 / Preferred Guest / Jerome Lermyte / Mark Casse
2 / Georgian Dancer / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Robert Tiller
3 / Moksgmol / Rafael Hernandez / Carlos Grant
4 / Notice Me / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Catherine Day Phillips
5 / Silent Mistake / Gary Boulanger / Norm McKnight
6 / Ishiyaya / Patrick Husbands / Mike Mattine
7 / Katla’s Fury / Luis Contreras / Gordon Colbourne