Saturday’s $150,000, Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes brings together eight strong distaff sprinters running six furlongs on the all-weather course at Woodbine, but the spotlight will be on two of them, Artie’s Princess and Boardroom, who meet for the third time in their brief careers.
When last seen in the fall in the Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes, Artie’s Princess prevailed by a head over Boardroom, who had encountered stifling traffic on the far turn before rallying late. Prior to that, Boardroom had won the Duchess Stakes while Artie’s Princess had won the Ruling Angel Stakes. Our Secret Agent hopes to turn the tide on both fillies after finishing second in the Ruling Angel and Duchess before ending up third in the Bessarabian. Summer Sunday also has the credentials to run well, having taken the Belle Mahone Stakes last September three races following a third-place effort in the 2020 Whimsical. Chart is a stakes winner as well, having captured the Grade 2 Ontario Colleen Stakes on turf last summer at Woodbine. Amalfi Coast won the 2019 Bessarabian Stakes and then 11 months later in October 2020 won the Sweet Briar Too Stakes, so she fits on all counts with these. Sav has finished first or second in 11 of 16 career starts, with her best effort in a stakes coming when third in the Grade 3 Ontario Fashion Stakes last September. Golden Ami won the first two races of her career last March and November before a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes in her only try at this level.
Boardroom gets slight preference to win this year’s Whimsical Stakes. She might be a perfect-five-for five in her career except for two things beyond her control- broken equipment and severe traffic trouble. After easily winning the first two starts of her career last June and July, Boardroom suffered from a piece of broken equipment in the Ruling Angel Stakes (won by Artie’s Princess) which denied jockey Luis Contreras steering control. The fact that Boardroom finished third in that race was a testament to her desire to win. Next up in October, Boardroom won the Duchess Stakes, earning a career best 101 Equibase Speed Figure in the process, which was the same figure Artie’s Princess earned for her Ruling Angel victory. When these two fillies next met in the Bessarabian in November, Boardroom was in position to win on the far turn when a horse boxed her in, forcing her and jockey Contreras to wait for a break in traffic when otherwise she would have been in high gear. After circling four paths wide on the turn while the winner got a much better trip, Boardroom was closing with every stride when the wire came, missing by a head and earning another 101 figure. Getting the outside post in Saturday’s Whimsical, Boardroom should be able to avoid traffic. It is likely that Golden Ami sets a brisk pace, chased closely by Sav, which should give Boardroom an opportunity to close nicely and win this race.
Summer Sunday loves to win races, as evidenced by her record of eight victories from 12 starts on the all-weather main track at Woodbine. As a 4-year-old (the same age as Boardroom and Artie’s Princess) in 2019, Summer Sunday won the Hendrie Stakes and Royal North Stakes in succession, and then in her 2020 debut she finished third in the Whimsical. Later last season she won an allowance race during the summer before taking the Belle Mahone Stakes in the fall, with the better of those two efforts earning a 100 figure that’s good enough to be competitive with the main contenders if repeated.
Artie’s Princess won the first two starts of her career in the summer and fall of 2019, and then nearly won the Frost King Stakes with a career-best 102 figure. Resting from November of that year to last June, Artie’s Princess returned to win easily with a 99 figure and then two starts later won the Ruling Angel, earning a 101 figure. Artie’s Princess has won all three starts in her career when returning off of a layoff, which she’ll be doing in the Whimsical, and she’s a good bet to duplicate her best Equibase Speed Figures. She’s got every right to add to a five-for-six record on the main track at Woodbine in Saturday’s race.
The rest of the field, with their best Equibase Speed Figures, is Amalfi Coast (103), Chart (87), Golden Ami (100), Our Secret Agent (100) and Sav (99).