Summer Sunday kept her flawless Woodbine record intact winning the Grade 2 Royal North Stakes for fillies and mares during today’s summer Sunday program at Woodbine Racetrack.
The $175,000 six-furlong sprint was the four-year-old filly’s seventh local conquest, but first on Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course, for trainer Stuart Simon and owners Anne and William Scott.
Following a cavalry charge out of the gate, Summer Sunday assumed command with Veil pressing the pace and Magic Spell racing between those two rivals briefly before that filly settled behind. After fractions of :22.96 and :45.09, Summer Sunday drew clear in the stretch to score by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:08.26.
Despite having Veil alongside and competing on a new surface, winning jockey Rafael Hernandez said his filly took it all in stride.
“I’ll tell you, we’ve been working that from two races ago and she’s been showing everything she can do, you know, relaxing good,” said Hernandez, who is the second-leading reinsman of the meet and has earned eight wins this week. “I know the race was going to be tough, but I know whoever’s going to beat me, they had to run faster.
“She’s just a nice horse, good horses run anywhere,” he added. “She found the turf was not bad for her.”
Bred in Ontario by Trinity West Stables Ltd., the Silent Name-Dancing Allstar filly has earned more than $580,000 from nine lifetime starts with wins in all seven of her Woodbine races.
“It’s getting a little scary, she’s got a little streak going,” said Simon. “She’s just so genuine, she’s been a gift. She’ll just do whatever you want of her.
“She’s just got such a fantastic head on her that she knows when it’s go time. She just naturally does things that you need her to do to be successful.”
Following back-to-back stakes wins in the Ballade and Grade 3 Hendrie, Summer Sunday was sent postward as the 5-2 third choice and returned $7.50 to win. Magic Spell ($6.90, $3) came through in the stretch and chased the winner home for second-place honours while the favoured shipper Oleksandra ($2.10) swung widest of all and closed from the backfield to edge out the rail-skimming Patton’s Girl and complete the trifecta, worth $63.95 for a $1 ticket. Veil and Ruby Notion rounded out the field. Double Medal and Misericordia were scratched.
Summer Sunday, who was a $95,000 yearling purchase at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Sale, also won the Nandi and Muskoka Stakes during her juvenile campaign and picked up a Fury Stakes score last year.
Live Thoroughbred racing resumes at Woodbine on Wednesday evening (July 24) at 6:45 p.m.
Fort Erie Race Track will host the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, on Tuesday, July 23. First race post time is 3:55 p.m., with the Prince of Wales scheduled for approximately 7:40 p.m. The race will be televised from 7-8 p.m. ET on TSN 1, 3, 4 and 5.