Minakshi, ridden by Luis Contreras for U.S.-based trainer Michael Matz, took command in mid-stretch and held off hard-charging stablemate Colonial Flag to win the Grade 2, $306,400 Canadian Stakes on Sunday, part of the undercard on Ricoh Woodbine Mile day.
Minakshi Takes Canadian Stakes
Minakshi, a five-year-old French-bred daughter of Footstepsinthesand, now gets a free berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf event at Santa Anita Park on November 1.
Colonial Flag was second, 1 ¾ lengths in front of Moment of Majesty.
Contreras was able to sit his charge in sixth early in the 1 1/8-mile race through a pace of :23.53 and :46.53 set by La Tia. La Tia continued to hold an edge into the turn, but when the running started Minakshi swung outside of her rival and began to roll, seizing the advantage mid-stretch. The dark bay continued her strong stride holding off rival Colonial Flag, who was last early, for the half-length win.
La Tia stayed for fourth, while favoured Solid Appeal was eighth.
“I got a nice staking trip,” Contreras said. “My filly relaxed really nicely for me. Michael (trainer Matz) told me in the morning that the horse can be on the lead but she relaxes better and she relaxed for me nice. I just angled outside in the quarter pole and she just gave me everything and I got more horse at the end.”
“She had a wonderful trip up,” said Joy Cooper, assistant to Matz. “She’s a bit of a quirky filly so you got to be really patient with her. She has to have the pony in the paddock and you just hope everything goes her way because the switch can flip and she can lose it so it is more so just trying to let things go her way. “
It was the fifth lifetime win for Minakshi, but first in North America, after five stakes starts. She now has career earnings for Northern Bloodstock of $345,669.
Minakshi returned $16.20, $9 and $6.50, pairing with Colonial Flag ($10.10, $6.40) for a $113.60 (1-7) exactor. A 1-7-6 (Moment of Majesty, $8.50 to show) triactor was worth $1,944.70. La Tia completed a $1 Superfecta (1-7-6-5) worth $4,093.