2023 Jacques Cartier Stakes & Whimsical Recap

Another brilliant weekend of racing has come and gone at Woodbine with the 2023 Jacques Cartier Stakes & Whimsical now in the books. Both Grade 3 contests, both races were eagerly anticipated.

Headlining Saturday’s card was the Whimsical where Our Flash Drive ran out a dominant winner. Heading into the race following an impressive victory in the Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes when last seen, she dismissed her rivals with the minimum amount of fuss. Her second Graded Stakes victory, she could be one to keep an eye on as she moves into the bigger and tougher races later this year.

Rounding off the weekend was the Jacques Cartier Stakes. A wide-open contest, there were hopes that Arzak would be able to repeat his success in the contest last year. However, there would be a new winner in the form of Anarchist. Heading into the race with a pair of placed efforts in two successive Grade 3 races, he went one better to finally land the first graded prize of his career.

Whimsical Stakes

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

  1. Our Flash Drive +100
  2. Miss Speedy +500
  3. Baby No Worries +400

Winning time: 1:10.12

Mark Casse continued his recent dominance in the Whimsical Stakes winning his third edition of the race in the last six years with Our Flash Drive.

The class angle of the race, she headed into the Whimsical having been off the track since November, but her last performance was the best of her career when she won the Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes with ease.

Showing little signs of rust or a lack of fitness, jockey Patrick Husbands had Our Flash Drive nicely positioned throughout the contest and made his move as the field hit the home turn. Swinging off the home bend three wide, Husbands and Our Flash Drive cruised into the front and looked a class above.

With 200 yards left to race, Husbands asked Our Flash Drive to win the race and she duly responded. Despite the late bursts of Miss Speedy and Baby No Worries, Our Flash Drive was never in danger of throwing away the lead.

Winning by two lengths, it was Our Flash Drive’s second successive graded win. It was a great race for Casse whose second-string Miss Speedy was able to finish the race in second.

2023 Whimsical Stakes Payouts

1Our Flash Drive$3.40$2.40$2.10
2Miss Speedy $4.20$3.00
3Baby No Worries  $3.50

Jacques Cartier Stakes

Grade 3, 6 furlongs, Dirt, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $150,000

  1. Anarchist +250
  2. Ice Chocolat +800
  3. Old Chestnut +1000

Winning time: 1:08.56

Having finished second in two Grade 3 races heading into this year’s Jacques Cartier Stakes, Anarchist was able to finally get his head in front and land the first graded prize of his career.

Breaking alertly, Anarchist and jockey Luis Contreras jumped to the head of the field and were happy to dictate the early fractions. Leading the field heading into the home turn, Contreras made his move and managed to catch some of his rivals unawares.

Kicking off the turn in the lead, he managed to create some separation from himself and the rest of the field. Looking to go with Anarchist was last year’s winner Arzak but having spent a lot of energy trying to keep up with the front runner, the lights quickly went out and he dropped tamely out of contention.

With Anarchist left out in the clear, Ice Chocolat and Old Chestnut tried to make ground from the back of the pack. Making some late ground, it was a case of too little too late as both pursuers ran out of both time and track.

The nature of Anarchist’s success was impressive, and he looks like a horse primed for bigger and brighter challenges.

2023 Jacques Cartier Stakes Payouts

2Ice Chocolat $8.20$5.50
3Old Chestnut  $5.00

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