Extended to 1 1/4 miles for its renewal on Queen’s Plate Day, Sunday’s $135,518 Dance Smartly (G2) will likely be memorable for another reason – a dead-heat for the win. Trainer Kevin Attard and Soli Mehta’s Starship Jubilee edged away in midstretch, but Lael Stables’ Rainha Da Bateria rallied boldly to join her on the line, and even the camera couldn’t find a pixel’s worth of separation between them.
The 5-1 Starship Jubilee had stalked front-running Belle de Nuit through splits of :25.75, :50.38, and 1:15.01 on the firm course. Jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva allowed her to creep alongside at the mile mark in 1:38.61, and so readily was Starship Jubilee traveling, that he turned her loose at the head of the lane.
Suffused, the 4-5 favorite, also appeared to be full of run in fourth in the early going. When she took aim on Starship Jubilee, however, she found little, and favorite backers knew they were in trouble.
Meanwhile, the Chad Brown-trained Rainha Da Bateria had been reserved farther off the pace by Javier Castellano. Advancing smoothly in the stretch, the 5-2 second choice picked up on cue and went after Starship Jubilee. Rainha Da Bateria was relentless, but Starship Jubilee was game, and neither flinched as they neared the wire. The duo clocked 2:01.91 while finishing a half-length to the good of Involuntary, who deprived Suffused of third by a neck.
Rainha Da Bateria was making her third trip to Woodbine, having taken last fall’s Canadian (G2) in a photo over stablemate Dacita and checked in a close fifth in the E.P. Taylor (G1). Also successful in the 2014 Jessamine (G3), she has placed in six stakes, notably when second to Tepin in the 2016 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) and a near-miss third in the Diana (G1). The five-year-old Broken Vow mare was most recently fourth in her seasonal reappearance in the May 13 Beaugay (G3). She’s now amassed $589,160 from her 19-4-4-2 line.
Bred by Alexander Groves Matz LLC in Kentucky, Rainha Da Bateria sold for $435,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. The chestnut is a half-sister to Grade 3 winners Assateague and Kindergarden Kid, as well as to Grade 1-placed He’s Had Enough. Their dam, the stakes-winning Dixieland Band mare Amelia, is in turn a half-sister to Bertolini and to the dam of 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) victor Bayern. Rainha Da Bateria’s second dam, Grade 2 winner Aquilegia, is a full sister to champion and noted broodmare Althea.
Starship Jubilee has a more blue-collar background. Bred in Florida by William P. Sorren, the bay was a $6,500 OBS August yearling who RNA’d for $34,000 at the same venue as an April two-year-old. Starship Jubilee began her career at Gulfstream, and dabbled in the claiming ranks, until she was haltered for $16,000 by Tino Attard on February 12. The four-year-old immediately won three straight for her new barn and earned a transfer to Kevin Attard at Woodbine, where she made it four in a row, on the class hike, in the May 27 Nassau (G2). Starship Jubilee shared the Dance Smartly spoils, but it still counts to extend her streak to five while upping her scorecard to 14-8-1-0, $258,830.
Although a superficial glance at her pedigree isn’t gripping – by Indy Wind out of the Forest Wildcat mare Perfectly Wild – there’s heft in the next generation back. Starship Jubilee’s second dam is Perfect Arc, heroine of the 1995 Queen Elizabeth II Invitational Challenge Cup (G1) and Diana (G2) during her perfect sophomore season.
The $155,805 King Edward (G2) produced a 44-1 upset, and $91.30 win mutuel, courtesy of Gustav Schickedanz’s homebred Go Bro. Always close up for Jesse Campbell, the Michael Keogh trainee wore down Hootenanny by a head in a final time of 1:34.09 for the grassy mile. Tower of Texas, the 6-5 favorite who’d won the 2015 King Edward prior to a third last year, checked in third again. He swooped fast, but a little too late after easing back to last and getting carried out wider on the turn.
Go Bro was coming off a second in a 1 1/16-mile Tapeta allowance to Melmich, a formline boosted after Melmich scored a repeat victory in Saturday’s Dominion Day (G3). Runner-up in the 2013 Summer (G2) over this course and distance at two, Go Bro has spent nearly all of his career sprinting in the allowance or optional claiming ranks. The six-year-old gelding made a rare foray into stakes company in his 2017 debut in the Jacques Cartier, winding up last of nine. But a step up in trip has since helped, and his stakes breakthrough here improved his record to 20-4-6-3, $338,786.
The Ontario-bred Go Bro is by Proud Citizen and out of the Langfuhr mare Six Sexy Sisters, a stakes-winning full sister to Canadian Hall of Famer/Triple Crown hero Wando.
There was a much more familiar result in the $108,368 Singspiel (G3), as Sam-Son Farm’s veteran Aldous Snow captured the 1 1/2-mile turf test for the third time in the last four years. Third when seeking a three-peat in 2016, the eight-year-old gelding regained his crown here despite resuming from a seven-month layoff.
Patiently handled by da Silva, Aldous Snow saved ground at the back of the pack as 9-5 favorite Reporting Star got away with slow fractions of :25.99, :49.98, 1:14.37, and 1:38.38. Stalking Pumpkin Rumble was the first to overtake the leader turning for home, then Bullards Alley collared him in midstretch. The 6-1 Aldous Snow played his hand last of all, staying on strongly to best Bullards Alley by a neck. The Malcolm Pierce charge stopped the clock in 2:27.42, and his resume now reads 37-9-5-4, $752,589.
Aldous Snow is a three-quarter brother to multiple Grade 2-winning sire Strut the Stage. Both are by Theatrical, and Strut the Stage is a half-brother to Aldous Snow’s dam, the Quiet American mare Brave Destiny. This is the immediate family of Canadian Hall of Famer Chief Bearhart.
Da Silva, who rode Tiz a Slam to a runner-up effort in the Queen’s Plate, later made it three stakes wins on the festive day aboard Yorkton in the Charlie Barley. Trained by Stuart Simon, the Chiefswood Stable homebred fended off Conquest Lemonraid and Woodbridge in the one-mile turf affair for sophomores. Made You Look, the 6-5 favorite, made mild headway for fourth.
Yorktown, a son of Speightstown and the A.P. Indy mare Sunday Affair, descends from the influential matron Maplejinsky. The bay colt has now won two straight stakes, following up on his wire job in the May 13 Queenston on the Tapeta.