A lifetime winner of four races from 21 starts, Moment of Majesty, who is also co-owned by hockey agent Don Meehan and trainer Sue Leslie, comes into the 1 ¼-mile stake off back-to-back seventh-place finishes in very tough assignments.
While she was nine lengths back in the Canadian, Moment of Majesty was just 3 ½ lengths behind Siyouma in the E.P. Taylor.
“There was just no room to do anything throughout the whole race in the E.P. Taylor,” said jockey Gerry Olguin, who has been aboard for the past five starts, yielding two wins and a second. “It was so tight all the way. But she never gave up.”
Last year, the Ontario-bred, the runner-up (just a head back) in the 2010 running of the Woodbine Oaks, finished second five times and had one third from six starts.
Olguin, whose first race with Moment of Majesty resulted in a 16-1 upset in June’s Zadracarta Stakes, liked what he saw right away.
“Sometimes, you just get along with a horse from the start and that’s what happened here,” said Olguin, who was also in the irons for a second-place finish to Marketing Mix (a prime contender in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf) in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes in July. “I like the fact that she always tries. You just have to be patient early, time her run and then she’ll give you that one great kick.”
The veteran rider is hoping he can team up for another victory at the Toronto oval this Saturday, which is also the second day of Breeders’ Cup action at Santa Anita Park.
“A few races back, Curtis was in the paddock before the race and asked if he could have his picture taken with me,” recalled Olguin. “I thought, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re asking me for a picture?’ He’s a great person. You can say the same thing about Don and Sue. Hopefully, we can get another picture taken together again, this time in the winner’s circle.”
The Maple Leaf, first run in 1892, was won by Masked Maiden last year.
First post is 1:00 p.m.
FIELD FOR THE MAPLE LEAF
Post / Horse / Jockey / Trainer
1 / Lacara / Davy Moran / Andreas Wohler
2 / Imperial Pippin / Tyler Pizarro / Bill Mott
3 / Moment of Majesty / Gerry Olguin / Sue Leslie
4 / Smart Penny / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Roger Attfield
5 / Stars to Shine / Alex Solis / Mark Frostad
6 / Smart Sting / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Roger Attfield
7 / Moonlit Beauty / Jesse Campbell / John LeBlanc Jr.
8 / Dixie Strike / Omar Moreno / Mark Casse
9 / Sky High Lady / Omar Moreno / Mark Casse
10 / Pure Blue Sky / Richard Dos Ramos / Sam Di Pasquale