A dark bay daughter of the late Purim (20-1 winner of the 2007 Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile), Shenandoah Lady ventures into the Grade 3 Mazarine off a sixth-place finish, albeit just three lengths behind the winner, in the Grade 2 Natalma, contested over a ‘yielding’ E.P. Taylor Turf Course on September 15.
“There was no way I thought she should have been 80-1,” said Attard, who has 373 career wins, including nine stakes victories, as of October 2. “I didn’t expect her to show that speed, but I did expect her to show that fight to the finish. Turning for home, Eurico (jockey Rosa da Silva) said he had a lot of horse left. I thought for a moment she could hang on. I was pleased with how hard she fought.”
Attard was equally pleased with Shenandoah Lady’s career bow on July 27, a race that was originally slated for turf, but was moved to the main track.
“She got off a little slow, which we figured might happen,” recalled Attard, of the six-furlong race that produced a third-place finish. “I feel like we’ve had the one-hole more than anyone this year. But despite the slow start, she ran well. I certainly didn’t think she’d go off at 57-1.”
Next time out, however, the odds, literally, were in her favour. Shenandoah Lady was the 2-5 choice and lived up to her favouritism courtesy of a 3 ¾-length win over seven furlongs on the ‘Poly.’
“I did a ‘no-no,’” offered Attard, of the August 12 race. “I rushed her back and I don’t like doing that. We just wanted to get a race into her before the Natalma and she was excellent.”
Now, the Virginia-bred will travel two turns for the first time over the ‘ Poly.’
“This is the best American-bred I’ve had,” said Attard. “She just has handled everything well from the very start. We knew we had a good horse even before her first race. She’s continuing to put everything together.”
All of which could translate into a coveted first graded stakes triumph for Attard this Saturday.
“I’d have no problem with that at all,” said the conditioner, who has three top-three finishes from 14 graded starts. “In fact, I’d really like that.”
Spring Venture, who took the Natalma, and is expected to contest the upcoming Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, has the outside post eight in the Mazarine.
Former Woodbine-based jockey Chantal Sutherland, who now rides in California, will pilot Seaneen Girl for trainer and co-owner Robert Tiller.
The $150,000 Carotene Stakes is also on tap for Saturday, slated for race five.
FIELD FOR THE MAZARINE
Post / Horse / Jockey / Trainer
1 / Floral Sky / Patrick Husbands / Mark Casse
2 / Seaneen Girl / Chantal Sutherland / Robert Tiller
3 / Jazzy Jane / Slade Callaghan / James Smith
4 / Bwana Go Fast / Emile Ramsammy / Nathan Squires
5 / Shenandoah Lady / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Steve Attard
6 / Anfield Park / Omar Moreno / Steve Owens
7 / Every Way / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Michael Stidham
8 / Spring Venture / Patrick Husbands / Mark Casse