Canadian Stakes Offers Winner a Spot in Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

Chad Brown

Chad Brown sends out Dacita, the 2-1 morning line favorite, in the Canadian Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.

The other Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race on the Woodbine Card Saturday is the $300,000 Canadian Stakes (GIIT), a nine-furlong event that drew an international cast of seven looking for a spot in the gate for the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GIT).

The early favorite for the race, which has been carded as the 8th on the day, is Sheep Pond Partners and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ Dacita, who is trained by Chad Brown and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. The 5-year-old daughter of the late Scat Daddy, who won the 2014 Chilean Derby (GI), has really only posted one poor performance in her career and that was in the Breeders’ Cup after a very rough trip.

In four starts in since — all this year — she’s won two, with a second and a fourth, and seems to be rounding into top form at the right time. She is undefeated at the distance, but has never handled an off turf so I’m sure there’s some hope her class will be good enough to overcome and reach the winner’s circle.

Steip Amach, which when typed into Google Translate provides us with the Irish term for “step out,” makes her North American debut after earning a pair of thirds in French group 1 company. She doesn’t win a lot, but is fairly consistent and will need that consistency to win here.

When it comes to graded stakes it’s never wise to leave out a Graham Motion-trained runner with talent and Faufiler fits the bill. Her innermost post position isn’t the best, but she’s got later speed which can help her let the pace go in front of her after the break.

Rainha de Bateria starts for trainer Chad Brown for the fourth time and while a good runner, she doesn’t show much more than placings at this level of company.

Strut the Course is a Woodbine turf specialist, having won three of nine starts over the course, with three seconds and a third, in mostly graded and allowance company. Her best puts her in the mix for a larger share.

Midnight Miley has won one of five turf starts, but seems like a better performer over Woodbine’s all weather main track. She appears to be lone speed, so that does help her chances in this field of mid-pack runners and closers. Goodyearforroses has trainer Roger Attfield going for her and she seems to be improving, but she’d need to improve a lot to be a factor against this field.

The 8th race Canadian Stakes is set to go off at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.

She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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