Chad Brown’s raiding party of even-money favorite Inflexibility and 9-5 New Money Honey could not contain the late kick of locally based Starship Jubilee in Saturday’s $195,917 Canadian S. (G2) at Woodbine. Only now recovering her peak form, the 11-1 shot scampered last to first to earn her biggest victory since the summer of 2017.
Co-owned by trainer Kevin Attard and Soli Mehta, Starship Jubilee compiled a five-race winning streak as a class climber last year, capped by the Nassau (G2) and a dead-heat in the Dance Smartly (G2). Her skein ended with a fifth versus males in the Sky Classic (G2), and after thirds in both the Canadian and Claiming Crown Tiara, she regained the winning thread in the January 20 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park.
Her neck loss next time in the Mary Todd, over the same course, was useful, but her ensuing efforts back up at Woodbine were subpar. The defending champion could do no better than fourth in the Nassau and sixth in the Dance Smartly.
Attard prescribed class relief in a starter/optional claimer August 6, and Starship Jubilee responded with a 3 3/4-length victory. She retained her winning groove at a considerably higher level here.
Unhurried early by a patient Luis Contreras, Starship Jubilee bided her time at the rear as Daring Duchess went forward at a rollicking tempo. New Money Honey prompted the pace through splits of :23.08 and :45.68 on the firm course, put a weakening Daring Duchess away turning for home, and braced for the challenge from stablemate Inflexibility.
Starship Jubilee was the one to fear, however. Surging wider out, she outkicked the one-paced New Money Honey and Inflexibility to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths. Starship Jubilee motored in 1:42.91, just off the course record of 1:42.87 for the distance described as about 1 1/8 miles.
New Money Honey bravely staved off Inflexibility by a head for intra-barn bragging rights. Next came Bletchley; Hallie Belle, who was involved in scrimmaging with Starship Jubilee in upper stretch; and Daring Duchess. Mythical Mission and Niigon’s Eclipse were scratched.
Starship Jubilee, who paid $25.30, sports a mark of 23-11-2-2, $541,013. Bred by William P. Sorren in Florida, the five-year-old Indy Wind mare is a half-sister to stakes-placed The Flying Whizzer and current juvenile Starship Nala. They are out of the unraced Perfectly Wild, a daughter of Forest Wildcat and Grade 1 turf star Perfect Arc.
Quotes from Woodbine
Winning trainer and co-owner Kevin Attard: “I made a few mistakes with her early this year. We sent her home for a break and she kind of just didn’t swing back after that vacation. We needed a confidence builder in her and we found one for her and she was pretty authoritative that day. She came into this race and she worked lights out last week and I just had a good feeling that if we had a good trip, she’d come running down the lane.”
Winning rider Luis Contreras: “She was really good. Kevin told me in the paddock just to get her to relax, that’s the best way she can finish the race, and he was right. I was waiting. I got a perfect trip. She helped me a lot. When I got her to relax, she was nice and calm early. Once I hit the three-eighths, I saw my room and I went through and she gave me everything from there.”