Conquest Harlanate Overpowers Mazarine Foes
Odds-on choice Conquest Harlanate used a ground-saving trip under Patrick Husbands to post an authoritative victory in the $179,264 Mazarine Stakes (Can-III) Oct. 5 for her second graded stakes win in a row at Woodbine.
Conquest Harlanate, who captured the Natalma Stakes (Can-IIT) over a yielding turf Sept. 13, posted her first win over Polytrack in the 1 1/16-mile Mazarine by 2 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:45.22. The 2-year-old filly's earlier win in the Natalma locked up a berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park as a "Win & You're In" event.
Mark Casse conditions the leggy daughter of Harlan's Holiday for Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell's Conquest Stables. Harlanate's Mazarine victory, her third straight, came two races later after Conquest Typhoon finished second as the favorite in the Grey Stakes (Can-III) for the same connections.
Casse recorded his fifth lifetime win in the Mazarine and his third in succession, following Spring Venture in 2012 and Madly Truly last year.
Fans bet Conquest Harlanate down to 3-5 in the field of six 2-year-old fillies and she did not disappoint, taking command when a seam opened up in the stretch and bursting home comfortably in front of runner-up Brooklynsway, with Del Cielo 2 1/2 lengths farther back third.
Conquest Harlanate stalked at the rail as Dixie Twist, Del Cielo, and Quidi Vidi vied on the front end through quarter mile fractions of :24.94, :49.32, and 1:13.63. Conquest Harlanate needed room in the stretch and did not hesitate when she got it, angling slightly off the rail between horses at midstretch and surging home with powerful strides under steady handling from Husbands.
The winning bay filly was bred in Ontario by Windhaven Farm out of the Dixieland Band mare Allison's Pride. The ninth winner from 10 starters produced by her dam, Conquest Harlanate is half sister to multiple stakes-placed Penobscot Bay.
Conquest Harlanate was twice been through the sales ring as a yearling at Keeneland, selling for $75,000 at the January 2013 horse of all ages sale to Black Hawk Stables through consignor Four Star Sales. In September, the bay filly was a $120,000 sale to Lisa Orth when consigned by Dromoland Farm, agent
She began her career July 12 with a third-place finish going five furlongs on Polytrack, then graduated three weeks later by 2 3/4 lengths over maidens on a good Woodbine turf course at six furlongs. That set her up for her stakes debut at one mile on the turf in the Natalma Sept. 13, which she won in a driving finish by a neck over Isabella Sings. Conquest Harlanate's latest win boosted her career earnings to $269,603.
Conquest Harlanate paid $3.30, $2.60, and $2.10 while packing top weight of 123 pounds. Muskoka Stakes winner Brooklynsway, ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson, returned $4.20 and $3.20 while completing a $13.50 exacta. Del Cielo, with Luis Contreras aboard, paid $4.10 to show. Quidi Vidi, Roaming, and Dixie Twist completed the order. Casse scratched Conquest So True.
Kathryn Sullivan, assistant trainer for Casse, continues to be impressed by Conquest Harlanate.
"She's doing really well and we're really happy with how she has progressed," said Sullivan. "She's a lovely filly, she's smart and everything is going the way we want it to go right now."
Conquest Harlanate's second graded stakes score marked the seventh stakes victory of the meet for Conquest Stables, adding to wins by Conquest Tsunami (Victoria, Colin), Conquest Top Gun (Victoria Park), Conquest Boogaloo (Swynford) and Conquest Typhoon (grade II Summer.)
"They (Semersky and Newell) bring a lot of enthusiasm and they've worked so hard for the two years they've been in the game. They research, talk to people and have worked really hard to get this lucky," said Sullivan.
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