TORONTO, ON – Trainer Graham Motion’s Secret Message waited for the right moment to come flying up the lane and nail the 4/5 favorite Starship Jubilee at the wire to win Sunday’s $175,000 Nassau Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.
Breaking alertly from post 5 under Trevor McCarthy as the 2/1 second choice, Secret Message soon settled toward the rear of the tightly-knit group. The rail-breaking Ghostly Presence led early, posting fractions of :24.65 and :47.90. Still saving ground heading into the far turn, Secret Message tipped out and began commencing a rally between foes.
Traffic troubles initially hindered her at the top of the stretch, but once she broke free near the final furlong, Secret Message was able to begin a furious rally toward the new leader Starship Jubilee. Responding gamely to the challenge, Secret Message collared the bettors’ choice in the shadow of the wire before crossing with a 3/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:35.30 for the mile-long event over the yielding turf course.
“The plan was to just let her break and get her to settle,” McCarthy said. “She was pretty sharp today, so I was a little nervous about how good she would break, but she really turned out nice. We got some nice cover, we were able to the follow the three (Starship Jubilee) the whole way around there and get through and get the job done.”
Though caught late, Starship Jubilee was much the best of the rest, taking second by 5 3/4 lengths. Get Explicit necked out Red Cabernet for fourth, with Summer Luck another 1/2-length behind them. Ghostly Presence weakened steadily in the stretch to sixth, completing the order of finish.
Secret Message’s win was her second straight following the Dahlia Stakes at Laurel Park and her second in a graded stakes event, having taken the Pucker Up Stakes (G3) at Arlington Park last June. The 4-year-old daughter of Hat Trick now sports a record of 11-5-2-0 with $327,448 earned for co-owners Madaket Stables, ERJ Racing, Elayne Stable 5, and Bouchey Thoroughbred Ventures.
Secret Message returned $6.60 to win, $3 to place, and $2.30 to show. Starship Jubilee brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show, while Get Explicit paid $3.40 to show.