Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson worked out a perfect pocket trip aboard Power Gal to take the $125,000 Selene Stakes (Grade 3) for three-year-old fillies in a mild upset on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
After winning the Selene last year with Miss Mo Mentum, the combination of trainer Mark Casse and owner Gary Barber struck again for back-to-back wins in the 1-1/16-mile feature. Power Gal defeated a field of four foes that included a pair of stablemates plus the Sovereign Award-winning filly Bold Script.
Undefeated in two prior starts last year for Casse, Glorious Song Stakes winner Souper Charlotte led the way through opening fractions of :24.82 and :49.56 with Power Gal following in behind and the favoured Bold Script stalking the pace. Approaching three-quarters in 1:13.72, Bold Script took over command from the tiring Souper Charlotte and spun into the stretch with a clear lead before Power Gal rallied by to score in 1:44.11 by one length.
Early trailer Preferred Guest, winner of last year’s South Ocean Stakes, closed inside to grab the runner-up role just ahead of fellow Queen’s Plate eligible Bold Script and made it a 1-2 finish for Casse. Above All Names finished fourth and Souper Charlotte faded to last.
“I was really happy with the trip,” said Wilson. “I was in the pocket the whole way around and I had a good view of Bold Script and [Gary] Boulanger so it was good. I could kind of clock what was going on and I could see everyone around me, so it was just a matter of when and where and how. With good horses, when you pull the trigger, they go. They make it simple.”
Entering the Selene off a third-place finish in the six-furlong Star Shoot Stakes during her Woodbine debut last month, Power Gal was sent postward as the 3-1 third choice and returned $8.40 to win.
Bred in Japan by Paca Paca Farm, the Empire Maker-Nan filly now boasts three wins in seven career starts with earnings climbing over the $200,000 mark. Power Gal broke her maiden over 6-1/2 furlongs at Aqueduct last November and was also a winner in the Martha Washington Stakes over a mile earlier this year at Oaklawn Park.
Live Thoroughbred racing continues this long weekend on Sunday and Monday, with first race post time set for 1:05 p.m. each day.