February 20, 2024

Moira back on best form in Canadian

Moira at Woodbine in the Canadian Stakes (Photo by Michael Burns Photo)

Moira returned to her winning ways, and with a vengeance, in the $164,215 Canadian (G2) at Woodbine on Saturday.

The Horse of the Year in Canada last year, Moira entered the Canadian having lost five in a row dating back to October. The streak included three consecutive second-place finishes earlier this season, one of them in the Nassau (G2) to Fev Rover, the 3-5 favorite in the Canadian.

Although traveling comfortably in behind the pacesetting Miss Dracarys, Fev Rover came up completely empty when the real running started in upper stretch. Sweeping on past was Moira, who turned on the afterburners down the long Woodbine straight and won in hand by 6 1/4 lengths under Rafael Hernandez.

Owned by X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables, and SF Racing, Moira completed about 1 1/8 miles on the firm turf in 1:46.04. She returned $7.90 as the second choice in the field of six fillies and mares.

Skims edged Atomic Blonde for second by a head. Fev Rover, coming off a stylish win in the Beverly D. (G1) at Colonial Downs, weakened to fourth. Ready Lady and Miss Dracarys completed the order of finish.

In post-race comments, trainer Kevin Attard chalked up Moira’s earlier season defeats largely to racing over inadequate distances. The one-mile Nassau was book-ended by seconds in the Belle Mahone (G3) and Dance Smartly (G2), both over 1 1/16 miles.

“The further she goes, the better she gets,” said Attard, who said the 1 1/4-mile E.P. Taylor (G1) in October would be Moira’s next target.

Moira was demoted from second to eighth in last year’s E.P. Taylor, which followed three consecutive stakes wins, capped by a seven-length romp in the Queen’s Plate, in which she set a new track record for 1 1/4 miles. Moira preceded that victory with a 10 3/4-length score in the Woodbine Oaks and a narrower head decision in the seven-furlong Fury S. Moira also took the Princess Elizabeth S. as a two-year-old, thus the Canadian was her first open stakes win.

Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs and sold for $150,000 at Keeneland September, Moira is by Ghostzapper and out of the multiple stakes-winning Devine Aida, by Unbridled’s Song.