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Sweet Briar Too Preview: Improving Painting Faces Next Test
Painting winning the Ontario Fashion (Credit: Michael Burns Photo)

Sweet Briar Too Preview: Improving Painting Faces Next Test

TORONTO, ON – Trainer Josie Carroll’s improving 4-year-old filly Painting faces her next major test in Friday’s $100,000 Sweet Briar Too Stakes at Woodbine.

The Sweet Briar Too is a 6 1/2-furlong synthetic main track sprint restricted to fillies and mares ages 3 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on an 8-race card and has a local post time of 7:38 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Sweet Briar Too:

1. Painting 2/1 – She rallied from last to neck out a score in the 6-furlong Ontario Fashion Stakes (G3) over the local course last time out, earning a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure that puts her on par with anyone in this field. She’s only missed the board once in 10 starts, has made the exacta in her past 7, and retains jockey Patrick Husbands for the third straight time.

2. Fair Maiden 12/1 – She scratched out of last Sunday’s Raven Run Stakes (G2) in favor of this spot and makes her second start of 2020 after defeating Churchill Downs optional claimers in September. She broke her maiden by over 14 lengths at Arlington Park, then won last year’s Catch A Glimpse Stakes and a neck defeat in the Natalma Stakes (G1) on the local turf.

3. O’Keeffe 12/1 – She steps back up to the stakes ranks after back-to-back romps at Arlington Park against optional claiming rivals, including a 3-length score over that track’s synthetic course last time out. Still, she’s only hit the board once in 4 prior stakes tries and will need to greatly improve upon her career-best 84 Beyer Speed Figure if she hopes to cross first here.

4. Summer Sunday 7/2 – She brings a 2-race win streak into this event after first defeating optional claiming rivals in a 6-furlong sprint on September 5, then stretching out successfully in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone Stakes. The lightning-quick Stuart Simon trainee is best when setting the tempo and has won 8 of 11 Woodbine starts, including both attempts at this distance.

5. Nantucket Red 20/1 – Though she attempts the shortest distance of her career in this spot, she won twice last year on Presque Isle Downs’ synthetic surface while facing optional claiming foes. Her current connections purchased the 5-year-old Get Stormy mare for $35k in January and opted to keep her in training, rather than sending her to the breeding shed.

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6. Magic Spell 20/1 – A familiar face on the local circuit, she’s still looking for her first victory since defeating first-level allowance rivals in a 6-furlong sprint in October 2018. Trainer/co-owner Gail Cox has won with 6 of her past 30 stakes runners while garnering an eye-popping $6.45 ROI, so bettors searching for value plays should give her a second look.

7. Amalfi Coast 6/1 – She cuts back and returns to her preferred surface after being eased last time out in the Canadian Stakes (G2), a 1 1/8-mile local turf event. She won last November’s Bessarabian Stakes (G2), a 7-furlong jaunt over this course, finished third (beaten 1 length) in the Seaway, and trainer Kevin Attard hits at 22% when Justin Stein hops aboard for his barn.

8. Souper Escape 5/2 – She suffered her first defeat over the local course in the Belle Mahone last time out, missing by 3/4 of a length after closely tracking the winner. She won the Trillium Stakes (G3) and the Seaway in her past 2 starts and should be sharp as she cuts back in distance, plus she fired a 4-furlong bullet best-of-22 work in :47 flat on October 17.

9. Victory Kingdom 10/1 – She nearly went gate to wire over this course in the Ontario Fashion, fighting hard in the stretch before getting caught late and missing by a neck. The talented Australian-bred has only 1 victory on her resume, but this outside draw and her experience last time out should help her improve as she makes her third start of her current form cycle.

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