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TORONTO, ON – D J Stable and Nexus Racing Club’s Diabolic aims to extend her unbeaten record to 4 in Sunday’s $400,000 Natalma Stakes (G1) at Woodbine.
The Natalma is a one-turn turf mile event restricted to 2-year-old fillies that serves as the eighth event on an 11-race card with a local post time of 5:06 PM. The race is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar this November.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Natalma:
1. Ready Lady 10/1 – She broke her maiden on debut in a local 7-furlong sprint by sitting within 2 lengths of the early pace, then pounced in the stretch. New jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson is no stranger to riding winners for the Roger Attfield barn: they’re 21% with a $2.18 ROI in the past 2 years, including with this horse’s undefeated older half-sister Lady Speightspeare, the 2020 Natalma champ.
“(Ready Lady) is much easier than her half-sister; (Lady Speightspeare) is very tough,” Attfield said. “(Ready Lady) is all class, actually. She’s just a lovely filly to be around, and as of this moment, she’s very easy to train. She’s just a charm to have.”
2. Pizza Bianca 4/1 – She ships north of the border after breaking her maiden on debut in a 1 1/16-mile inner turf route at Saratoga on July 22 and brings returning rider Joel Rosario for her first trip to the land of poutine and hockey. Trainer Christophe Clement won the 2019 Summer Stakes (G1) in his last Woodbine trip and he’s consistently worked the Bobby Flay homebred on turf since her debut.
“The owner is planning on being there and we’re all excited,” Clement said. “It was her first time out and she’s still learning, but I was happy with the way she behaved the first time out and I was happy with the way she finished and Rosario was very positive about it, so it’s exciting. She’s very honest. She’s been very straightforward since day one. She’s training well. We don’t know exactly how good she is, but let’s give it a shot. It’s a very open kind of a race and we’ve got a great jock, Rosario, who knows her and he rode her first time out.”
3. Guileful 15/1 – She steps up to the stakes ranks for the second time in 4 starts despite still carrying her maiden card, though she came within a 1/2-length of turning hers in last time out behind Ready Lady while making her turf debut. Trainer Nathan Squires entered her in the 5 1/2-furlong My Dear Stakes on synthetic for her second start; she finished fifth behind a pair of rivals who return here.
4. Royal Engagement 8/1 – She broke her maiden on debut going 5 furlongs on Presque Isle Downs’ synthetic, then finished third in the My Dear and second in the local 6 1/2-furlong Catch A Glimpse Stakes last time out. She earned a career-best 75 Beyer Speed Figure in her most recent effort, her first start on turf, and her sire Palace Malice produced the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner.
5. Wild Beauty 5/2 – Charlie Appleby sends her across the pond after the British-bred made 5 starts on her home turf, winning a pair and finishing second in 2 others. Favored in 4 of 5 tries overseas, bettors will likely see a similarly short price come post time on a filly who seems to improve with distance. Frankie Dettori, one of the most talented riders in the world, takes the mount for the first time.
6. Baksheesh 20/1 – The first of four entries from trainer Mark Casse makes her barn debut after her first 3 starts came for another local stable. Her highlight performance came last time out in the 6 1/2-furlong Muskoka Stakes, held over the synthetic and restricted to Canadian fillies, that she won by 4 lengths after rallying from 11th. Kazushi Kimura, 16% with Casse, rides through the barn change.
7. Diabolic 3/1 – Casse’s undefeated second entry is the only 3-time winner in the field, having broken her maiden on debut in a 5-furlong Gulfstream Park turf sprint before winning here in the My Dear and the Catch A Glimpse. Jockey Antonio Gallardo, aboard in both local scores, chose her over Ready Lady and will look to extend his 24% win rate for the track’s perennially leading barn.
8. Mrs. Barbara 15/1 – Casse’s third runner is still a maiden through 3 starts, though she finished third in the Catch A Glimpse despite starting slowly and encountering traffic in the stretch. With a cleaner break under new rider Rafael Hernandez (who wins 28% locally for the barn), she could be part of the early pace scenario, as she was 2 starts back when she lost by a 1/2-length against maidens.
9. Cardio Princess 20/1 – Casse’s fourth representative was a gate-to-wire winner as the 2/1 favorite while debuting on August 22 going 5 furlongs over the inner turf course. While she stretches out considerably in this tougher spot and loses Hernandez to her stablemate, she’s bred for distance and attracted new rider Justin Stein, the meet’s third-leading jockey behind Kimura and Hernandez (through Wednesday).
10. Eminent Victor 6/1 – She broke her maiden on debut as a 39/1 longshot in a 5-furlong sprint over Arlington Park’s synthetic on July 17, then was privately purchased. She was sent to top American turf trainer Chad Brown, who shows tremendous confidence placing her straight into a Grade 1 for her barn debut, and jockey Flavien Prat (38% win rate with Brown) flies in from California for the mount.
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