After a brief drop in class to try and break her maiden, Club II filly Warrior’s Promise finds herself back in three-year-old filly Stakes company with her race, The Supernaturel Handicap, getting prime billing as the sixth event on a Canada Day extravaganza. Regular jockey Jeff Burningham retains the ride after guiding his mount to three consecutive runner-up finishes.
A return to the “creme de la femme” means crossing paths again with two rivals from the Emerald Downs Stakes – reigning two-year-old champion Summerland and her 2018 rival, Dancin Shoes. The field of six is, however rounded out with some intriguing new faces in Sunburst, Above All Names and Krissy.
Sunburst has been a revelation in her short career so far. After a respectable second place on debut, she quickly broke her maiden when winning a Maiden Special Weight against many of the same company that Warrior’s Promise squared up against on June 15th. Even more impressively, she came back three weeks later to triumph over the boys in a three-year-old allowance race, besting River Rock Casino Stakes runner up, Dat Day in the process. The filly has made her move late in all her races and looks to be one who will relish the chance to go longer the route course at Hastings.
Krissy has made significant strides forward in 2019 for owner/trainer/breeder, Dino Condilenios. After hitting the board in every one of her five 2018 starts, the daughter of Pop Artist made light work of a Maiden Special Weight field on opening weekend. Any worry of a drop off against winners were soundly dismissed two weeks later with an eight length romp in Allowance company. The Emerald Downs Stakes probably came a little bit too quickly for Krissy, resulting in just over a month off and will leave her in good condition to discover if she can compete with the class of her division. Most effective when going gate-to-wire, Krissy adds an interesting twist to the pace scenario in this upcoming race and may be the one to ensure that Summerland is forced into honest fractions.
Above All Names is a new face around these parts having previously plied her trade at Woodbine. After notching her first win in an October 2018 Maiden Special Weight, the daughter of Skipshot picked up her second score in her most recent outing against a Allowance Optional $75,000 Claiming field on the turf. Although there is no doubting her ability, there may be question-marks about her ability to hit the ground running in this race. Hastings features a much tighter track than she will be used to in Toronto and the change in racing surface to Dirt will be another change the handicappers will have to navigate. Any concerns about her lack of Hastings experience may be slightly offset by the booking of multiple Champion Jockey, Richard Hamel.
For those left feeling the field for the Emerald Downs Stakes was a little bit lackluster, the Supernaturel should pique the interest of bettors and racing fans alike. Newcomers Krissy and Sunburst have already proven that their maiden-breaking wins were no fluke and the added distance inserts an element of doubt into the chances of the likely favourite, Summerland. Although the two-year-old champion has won over this distance once before in the 2018 Fantasy Stakes, that was a hard fought 3/4 length win against Dancin Shoes and her most spectacular wins have been over sprint distances. Further boosting the chances of an upset, Summerland has the highest weight in the field by some margin, carrying 125 pounds.
For Club II owners, there may be an element of trepidation coming into this race after Northern Graystar upset their odds-on favourite last time out. Their filly has finished all of her races strongly though and trainer Patty Leaney spoke hopefully earlier in the year about her chances of going a longer distance. Krissy injecting some pace on the front end may open the race up a little, however Warrior’s Promise will have to accept that Dancin Shoes, Sunburst and Above All Names will be lining up alongside her trying to knock Summerland off her perch.
It should be an exciting race for the neutrals and is a fitting crown jewel on the Canada Day festivities at Hastings. This is always one of the better attended days of the year and we had a full paddock for the last race for our star filly so please get trackside nice and early to grab your program and get your name down on the paddock list.