In the post parade for the G2 Mazarine Stakes, trainer Danny Vella's lanky filly Wyomia stood head and shoulders above her competition - at least in terms of appearance. On the tote board, however, Breeders' Cup bound Delightful Mary was taking all the action. But what do bettors know? The Vindication miss owned by Beverley Anderson and Edward Seltzer pulled away from the field and by the top of the stretch in the eight and a half furlong event, Wyomia was three and a half lengths ahead of her nearest competitor. All jockey Emile Ramsammy had to do was hold on as the big filly carried him over the line for her first stakes win in as many tries.
Wyomia - She's a beauty!
With three starts to her name, all on the Woodbine polytrack, and two impressive wins, there is a bit of a buzz about the filly - as a potential star turf horse. Wyomia's dam, Beyond the Sun, has produced four winners thus far including Red Giant, a millionaire who set a world turf course record in the G1 Clement Hirsch, running 1¼ miles in 1:57.16. Wyomia is also a half-sibling to Carnera who hit the board in a pair of graded events. Needless to say, there's good reason why Vella is taking the poly to turf angle with his burgeoning stable star.
Wyomia's sibling Red Giant sets a North American record in the 2008 Clement Hirsch
"Her breeding is all turf and we always thought she was all turf," explained Vella from his office on the Woodbine backstretch. "We're looking long term trying to keep her healthy. The dirt is a gamble anytime when you switch from poly or turf to dirt because you don't know if they're going to handle it. I think at this young age it's hard on them. I'm sure we'll try the dirt and I hope she'll handle it and I think she will but we'll do that when she is older and less fragile. These are two year-olds so you have to be careful with them."
Wyomia wires the Mazarine Stakes in dominating fashion
Vella has been to the Breeders' Cup previously with a young filly - the ill-fated Knights Templar, winner of the Mazarine and Ontario Debutante at Woodbine, who led the 2005 BC Juvenile fillies field to the top of the stretch before fading to finish sixth. Sadly, Knights Templar was euthanized in 2006 after a battle with lymphoma.
In 2009, Vella was a major player at Woodbine winning the Vigil and Nearctic with Field Commission. The multiple Sovereign Award winning conditioner boasts a big resume at the Etobicoke oval from a distinguished 25-year career which includes famous victories in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Hero's Love, 1993) and Queen's Plate (Basquiean, 1994) to name a pair.
Wyomia is a real head turner
That the soft-spoken Vella speaks so highly of Wyomia is telling, though it hasn't always been runaway victories for the horse who debuted with a fifth-place finish to Juvenile Fillies Turf foe New Normal.
"She just didn't really run that day," shrugged Vella. "It was her first time out and she just wanted to have a gaze around. She just plodded around there and really never picked the bit up or did anything aggressive which is okay. It's not the end of the world. She's the type of filly that's very smart and once she sees how things are done she gets the idea. She just needed that one."
Wyomia was a fast learner, literally, and returned to the track a few weeks later to notch an impressive five and a quarter length maiden breaker covering a mile and seventy yards in 1:43 and change earning a 75 Beyer figure in the process. The second and third place finishers in that event, Charismatically and Lisvernane, will compete in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine this coming weekend which gives some credence to what otherwise might be dismissed as a simple maiden score.
Wyomia breaks her maiden impressively
Vella was suitably impressed with the two starts following Wyomia's awkward beginning.
"It only took her the one start to get the hang of it and she's been dominant since then," said Vella. Despite having confidence in her ability, Vella prefers not to compare his pupil to others in the barn. "I don't like to do those type of comparisons. I don't think we've seen the bottom of her yet. There's a lot more left. She's a high potential filly and as we go we'll find out just how good she is."
With the switch from poly to turf looming, Vella has been busy preparing his protege for the Churchill Downs grass where she will be steered by a new jockey, Rafael Bejerano.
"I breezed her on the turf here (Oct 23rd, 5F in 1:00.60). Our training turf is no different than their turf course," explained Vella of the tight turned Woodbine training turf. "I may try and gallop her on the turf there. We're heading down Monday so we'll try to gallop her Tuesday or Wednesday around the turf course but if we can't we really don't need to. We've done everything we need to do."
The path has been marked, the training pattern set and as Vella's filly has captured two consecutive races at a distance of eight furlongs or more - the filly is clearly ready to go. With a track record like that, it would not be a surprise to see Wyomia capture the gold in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
WYOMIA Tyus sprints to Olympic victory
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I hope to have more of these closer looks at the Woodbine-based contenders in the days leading up to the Breeders' Cup. As noted in yesterday's post, there are seven Woodbine-based Breeders' Cup hopefuls:
WYOMIA (D. Vella) and NEW NORMAL (M. Frostad) compete in the Juvenile Fillies Turf
DELIGHTFUL MARY (M. Casse) will try the Juvenile Fillies
MISS KELLER (R. Attfield) races in the Filly and Mare Turf
MILWAUKEE APPEAL (S. Fairlie) takes a crack at the Ladies Classic
GRAND ADVENTURE (M. Frostad) will speed to the Turf Sprint
SOCIETY’S CHAIRMAN (R. Attfield) has a tough assignment versus Goldikova and Proviso in the Turf Mile.
Society's Chairman will not be bored of his competition in the Breeders' Cup
Other Canadian connections in the Breeders' Cup include:
Eugene Melynk's turf star Bridgetown who takes on Grand Adventure in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and Windsor native John Paul Reddam who has Waveline entered in both the Filly and Mare Turf as well as the Turf Sprint, while his Quiet Oasis is entered in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. One other Breeders' Cup bound horse with a local connection is Madman Diaries who was bought by Robert Teel with a group that includes Toronto-based Warren Byrne (Rancho Park Management) following a track record breaking performance in the Victoria Stakes. Madman Diaries is entered in both the Juvenile Turf and the Juvenile.
If all these pre-entries make the gate, there will be plenty of opportunities to wave the Maple Leaf on Breeders' Cup weekend!
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A little bit of Canadian stallion news to report:
Come on out on Saturday afternoon to the Adena Springs Stallion Show to meet an impressive roster of stallions that includes: Milwaukee Brew, Mast Track, North Light, Showing Up, Singing Saint, Sligo Bay, Wilko and Giant Gizmo. Adena Springs is located at 14875 Bayview Avenue, Aurora, Ontario. For more details, visit the Adena Stallions website. Showtimes for the stallions are at 2:30 and 4:00PM.
Come have a drink with Milwaukee Brew!
Colebrook Farms, located in Uxbridge, Ontario have joined up with True Nicks and breeders are now able to run unlimited complimentary nick reports on their stallion roster. For more details, check out the link above, or visit the Colebrook Farms website to check out pedigree info on stallions Niigon, Seeking The Best, Marcavelly and others.
It was also announced last week that CHAMPION MARCHFIELD WILL STAND AT PARK STUD for the 2011 breeding season at Michael Byrne’s breeding operation near Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. The 6-year-old son of A. P. Indy will stand for $4,000. For more info, visit the Park Stud website. There will be an announcement of an open house at Park Stud near the end of November.
Marchfield - Avid reader and stallion
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