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Trillium Preview: Souper Escape Returns For Title Defense
Souper Escape winning the 2020 Trillium (Credit: Michael Burns Photo)

Trillium Preview: Souper Escape Returns For Title Defense

TORONTO, ON – Live Oak Plantation homebred Souper Escape‘s 2021 debut coincides with a return to defend her title in Saturday’s $150,000 Trillium Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.

The Trillium is a 1 1/16-mile synthetic route open to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the seventh event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 4:30 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Trillium:

1. Crystal Glacier 12/1 – The first of three entries from the 2020 Woodbine meet’s winningest trainer Mark Casse brings a solid 4-2-1-0 synthetic record that includes missing by a 1/2-length over this course and distance last October. She exits a fifth-place finish against optional claimers on the Churchill Downs turf and should improve in her second start off the layoff, which she’ll need to do to contend.

“She ran well at Turfway,” Casse said of her 2 victories at Turfway Park. “We tried there this year and actually had a very good meet. … She’s a very nice horse and she really does like it at Woodbine.”

2. Souper Escape 2/1 – The defending race champ and 2020 Canadian champion main track female makes her first start since finishing last of seven in last November’s local 7-furlong Bessarabian Stakes (G2). She fired a 4-furlong work in :48.40 over a synthetic training surface in her final preparation for this event and trainer Mike Trombetta connects at 11% with runners returning from similar layoffs.

3. Red Cabernet 15/1 – She returns from an 8-month layoff on the less successful of Woodbine’s twin surfaces, as she carries a 12-2-2-1 record on the local synthetic but is 19-6-1-2 on the lawn. The good news is that she won the 2019 Algoma Stakes and missed by a nose in the Classy N Smart 1 start later, both of which were held over this course and distance, but she may need a start to knock off the rust.

4. Royal Wedding 20/1 – Like the rival directly to her inside, she makes her first start since last October’s Overskate Stakes, where she finished eighth in the 7 1/2-furlong local inner turf route. Her lone win on this surface was her maiden-breaking effort going 6 furlongs in late 2018 and she enters her graded stakes debut still searching for her first two-turn victory.

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5. Merveilleux 3/1 – She returns to the races after ending her 3-year-old campaign winning back-to-back local stakes restricted to Ontario-breds, including the Ontario Damsel held over this course and distance. With regular rider Rafael Hernandez out due to injury, she picks up new jockey Justin Stein, who enjoys an 18% win rate with trainer Kevin Attard that includes a positive $2.16 ROI.

6. Brassy 20/1 – She returns to the site of her maiden-breaking effort going 7 furlongs last August still attempting to earn a Beyer Speed Figure higher than 73, which she earned for defeating Tampa Bay Downs turf allowance rivals in January. She makes her second start back after taking a 3-month break and will attempt to improve upon her sixth-place finish last out in a Churchill Downs turf allowance.

7. Skygaze 6/1 – The second Casse entry brings a 3-race win streak into her second stakes try after being disqualified from her gate-to-wire win over this course and distance in the 2019 Mazarine (G3). Her trio of recent victories came on synthetic surfaces here and at Turfway Park against lesser competition and returns from a 5-month break; Casse wins 13% in similar situations.

“It took her a while to get on track, but she ran really well at Turfway,” Casse said. “We had planned on running her in a stake on Jeff Ruby Steaks day, but … she was on the AE’s and didn’t get in, so we’ve been sitting and waiting for this spot for a long time. She’s been training very well.”

8. Heavenly Curlin 5/2 – Casse’s third runner won 3 straight over this course last year, ending in the 1 1/4-mile Maple Leaf Stakes (G3) that earned her a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure. She returns to her preferred footing after finishing off the board in a pair of Gulfstream Park turf route graded stakes and teams up with Emma-Jayne Wilson, who connects at 15% for the Casse barn.

“It was a tremendous effort in the Maple Leaf last year,” Casse said. “We took her down to Florida and ran her in some tough spots. She just doesn’t like the grass as much as Tapeta.”

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