TORONTO, April 11 – Rose and Shine, a three-year-old daughter of Mr. Sekiguchi, looks to start her campaign on a winning note when she goes postward against Sovereign Award champion Tu Endie Wei in Saturday’s $150,000 Star Shoot Stakes, at Woodbine.

Owned by James Sabiston and trained by Ralph Biamonte, Rose and Shine won three races, along with one second and one third, from seven starts last year, including victories in the Muskoka and Princess Elizabeth Stakes.

The dark bay hooked some heavyweight competition in her rookie campaign, including Canada’s 2011 top two-year-old filly, as well as 2012 Queen’s Plate Winterbook favourite, Dixie Strike.

“I wasn’t sure she’d be able to win her first start going so short (4 ½ furlongs), but she proved me wrong and ran a great one,” said Biamonte, of the neck score over the Woodbine Polytrack on May 27. “She just kept on getting better after that.”

In her second start, the five-furlong My Dear Stakes, she faced the formidable Tu Endie Wei, finishing fourth to her rival, at 21-1.

Yet for Biamonte, it solidified his belief that Rose and Shine was capable of holding her own against top talent and that better things were in store for the filly.

“You never like to lose, but you could see that she had it in her to compete and that she would continue to develop,” said Biamonte, of the Ontario-bred that went on to finish third in the Shady Well Stakes in July, before rallying to win September’s Muskoka Stakes, her first added-money triumph, besting Dixie Strike by three-quarters of a length. “I knew the longer she went, the better she would be.”

Rose and Shine, who took the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth by one length on October 29, spent the winter months in Ocala, Florida, before returning to Toronto.

On April 10, she had her second work of the year at Woodbine, going three furlongs, breezing, in :37-flat, seventh fastest of 19 clocked at the distance.

Biamonte is hopeful Rose and Shine can come up big in her seasonal debut.

“She’s such a professional,” praised Biamonte. “Saturday’s (six furlong) race might be short for her, but I believe she’ll give a good account of herself. Her mindset is fantastic. You wish they could all be like her. When she’s in the barn, it’s like a church in there. Everything is so quiet.”

This weekend, however, he’s looking for his Woodbine Oaks (June 3) hopeful to make some noise.

First post for the 10-race card is 1:00 p.m.


Post / Horse / Jockey / Trainer

1 / Logan’s Peak / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Nick Gonzalez

2 / Runfor Ro / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Greg De Gannes

3 / Tu Endie Wei / Jim McAleney / Reade Baker

4 / Rose and Shine / Patrick Husbands / Ralph Biamonte

5 / Casa Loma / Steve Bahen / Robert Tiller

6 / Kiss in the Forest / Justin Stein / Mark Frostad