2023 Connaught Cup & More Graded Races From Woodbine

Four graded stakes races took center stage this weekend at Woodbine Racetrack with the 2023 Connaught Cup, Hendrie Stakes, Colleen Stakes, and Trillium Stakes all up for grabs.

Spread over both Saturday and Sunday, it was the Hendrie and Ontario Colleen Stakes that were first decided.

Kazushi Kimura produced another masterclass of a ride at Woodbine as he guided Loyalty to her first-ever graded prize in this year’s Hendrie Stakes. Finding a seam up the inside she powered home in the final furlong to win by over a length.

Mohawk Trail found some extra juice deep inside the final furlong to wear down long-time leader Queen Picasso to prevail in this year’s Ontario Colleen Stakes.

Breeders Cup Odds

Heading into Sunday and it was the 2023 Connaught Cup and Trillium Stakes that were up for grabs.

In the Trillium, Il Malocchio won her first graded prize since the 2022 Maple Leaf Stakes as she produced a stunning late finish to deny long-time leader Angelou and Souper Hoity Toity in a head bob on the line.

Rounding out the weekend was the Connaught Cup. Dream Shake won his second race of 2023 and the first graded prize of his career as he hung tough to beat a host of closing rivals to narrowly prevail.

Hendrie Stakes

Grade 3, 6 and a half furlongs, Dirt, open to fillies and mares aged three and over. Total prize pool: $150,000

  1. Loyalty +180
  2. Clitheroe +600
  3. Talk To Ya Later +2000

Winning time: 1:15.61

Loyalty won the first graded prize of her career as she swooped late up the inside rail to deny long-time leader Clitheroe.

In what was a fast and furious race, Clitheroe broke well as she tried to win the race from off the front. Despite her position as favorite, Kazushi Kimura was happy to sit Loyalty a few places off the front and wait for the gaps to appear.

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Loyalty shines in the 2023 Hendrie Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horsetiktok #Sports #FYP

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Rounding the home turn in third place, Kimura and Loyalty had work to do, but their patience was rewarded with a nice seam up the inside. With a clear track in front of her, Loyalty shifted through the gears and quickly found herself in front. Despite her best efforts, Clitheroe couldn’t respond and had to settle for second. Talk To Ya Later ran a great race to pinch third at a big price.

2023 Hendrie Stakes Race Payouts

PositionHorsesWinPlaceShow
1Loyalty$4.30$2.80$2.50
2Clitheroe $4.60$3.70
3Talk To Ya Later  $6.40

Ontario Colleen Stakes

Grade 3, 1 mile, Turf, open to three-year-old fillies. Total prize pool: $150,000

  1. Mohawk Trail +350
  2. Queen Picasso +250
  3. Love to Shop +1000

Winning time: 1:34.68

Mohawk Trail produced a sterling finish to inflict a first defeat on the Christophe Clement-trained Queen Picasso.

Unbeaten since arriving in the US, Queen Picasso broke well and hit the front of the pack. Happy to dictate the pace of the contest, she looked happy out in front.

Gradually winding up the fractions she rounded the home turn and hit the final straight with a few lengths on the rest of the field. With the race strongly in her grip, eyes were drawn behind to see if there was a horse able to burst clear from the back.

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Mohawk Trail wins the G3 Ontario Colleen #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #horsetiktok #Sports #FYP

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One horse that had plenty of energy left was the 2023 Alywow Stakes winner, Mohawk Trail. Finding a passage up the center of the track, Adam Beschizza was able to get Mohawk Trail motoring.

With Queen Picasso feeling the pinch out in front, Mohawk Trail was able to join the long-time leader in the shadows of the post. With the line looming, it was anyone’s guess as to who would come out on top. Queen Picasso spent energy at the start of the race, which would ultimately cost her as Mohawk Trail was able to find something extra to end out on top.

2023 Ontario Colleen Stakes Race Payouts

PositionHorsesWinPlaceShow
1Mohawk Trail$25.60$7.50$5.00
2Queen Picasso $3.10$2.50
3Love to Shop  $5.50

Trillium Stakes

Grade 3, 1 mile and a sixteenth, Dirt, open to fillies & mates three and older. Total prize pool: $150,000

  1. Il Malocchio +600
  2. Souper Hoity Toity +200
  3. Angelou +400

Winning time: 1:44.14

After two disappointing runs in 2023, Il Malocchio bounced back to form with a bang by winning this year’s Trillium Stakes.

The winner of last year’s Maple Leaf Stakes, she bounded out to the front and was always up there with the early leaders.

Leading the field through the early stages was Angelou who was looking to turn the tables on Il Malocchio following her defeat in the 2022 Maple Leaf.

Allowed a soft lead out in front, she would end up staying out in front until the field hit the home turn.

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Il Malocchio bounced back to form with a bang by winning the G3 Trillium #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #horsetiktok #Sports #FYP

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Grinding out a lead, the challengers swooped in the final stages of the race. 2023 Belle Mahone Stakes Souper Hoity Toity was looking to win the seventh race of her career and was piling on the pressure on the outside, whilst Il Malocchio made her move on the wide outside.

With Angelou grimly trying to hang on, her efforts would prove to be in vain as Il Malocchio found a little bit more to get up in the shadows of the post to win by a short head.

2023 Trillium Stakes Race Payouts

PositionHorsesWinPlaceShow
1Il Malocchio$18.00$5.70$3.70
2Souper Hoity Toity $3.00$2.40
3Angelou  $3.00

Connaught Cup

Grade 2, 7 furlongs, Turf, open to horses three and older. Total prize pool: $175,000

  1. Dream Shake +800
  2. War Bomber +2000
  3. Lucky Score +350

Winning time: 1:20.33

Closing out the graded action at Woodbine this weekend was the Connaught Cup. In what was a fiercely competitive betting heat, it was Dream Shake who would take home the spoils to win from gate to wire.

Recently having made the move to Michael Stidham’s barn, this was just his third run in the last twelve months. Life under Stidham looks to be working out well, as Dream Shake headed into the Connaught Cup following a decent performance last time out in Allowance Company.

Looking to make a splash at this higher level, he broke well and established an early lead. With the rest of the field happy to let Dream Shake have his merry way out in front, jockey Rafael Hernandez pushed the button a long way from home.

Catching his rivals unawares, he was able to take several lengths out of the rest of the field and that would ultimately prove decisive.

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Dream Shake goes gate to wire and wins the G2 Connaught Cup #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #horsetiktok #Sports #FYP

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Burning up the home straight in the lead, it looked like the petrol gauge was running on empty, but he dug in deep to hold off a whole wave of protagonists which included the fast-finishing War Bomber, Lucky Score and Churchtown.

With the line fast approaching, Dream Shake put it all on the line and dug in to win by the very finest of margins.

2023 Connaught Cup Race Payouts

PositionHorsesWinPlaceShow
1Dream Shake$22.10$9.40$5.70
2War Bomber $13.00$7.30
3Lucky Score  $2.90

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