Lady Speightspeare Repels Alda to Win Natalma
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes
TORONTO, ON - Charles Fipke homebred Lady Speightspeare repelled a strong stretch bid from Alda to win Sunday's $250,000 Natalma Stakes (G1) at Woodbine.
The Natalma is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Lady Speightspeare receiving an automatic berth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland this November.
Lady Speightspeare reared up as the field finished loading in the gate and forced jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson to bail, but she quickly hopped back aboard the 5/2 favorite as she broke from post 6.
Big Big Plans was hustled to the lead and set opening fractions of :23.77 and :47.92 while Lady Speightspeare and Dreaming of Drew stalked closest of all in the field of seven.
Big Big Plans straightened for home still on the lead, but Lady Speightspeare took over in mid-stretch and kept a hustling Alda at bay to win the one-turn firm outer turf mile in 1:34.61.
Lady Speightspeare crossed 3/4 of a length clear to give her Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield his third Natalma title.
"In the starting gate, she acted up a little bit, but a little bit was a testament to her intent," Wilson said after winning her second Natalma. "Last time she ran, she was such a racehorse. She broke through the pack early and went to the lead with such intent, I think it was the same thing today in the gate. She knew it was coming; They yelled, ‘Last one!’ (and) she was anticipating the doors to open, so she popped up a little, but kudos to the gate crew here at Woodbine. They kept her straight and steady so, despite her rearing, she didn't manage to get herself hung up or hurt in anyway, which meant she was able to compete and win today."
Alda was 2 3/4 lengths clear of Seasons, who headed a fading Dreaming of Drew for fourth.
Sleek Lynx, Stunning Princess, and Big Big Plans completed the order of finish.
Lady Speightspeare's win followed a smashing debut in a 7-furlong dash over the local course, which she took gate to wire and crossed 3 3/4 lengths the best. The Speightstown filly has now earned $146,394.
"That's always nice to see,” Attfield said about the tactical speed that she displayed. “When you break your maiden and you're going into a race like this off of going wire-to-wire, you really haven't had any education or anything going into something like this. so it was nice to see that for sure."
Lady Speightspeare returned $7 to win, $3.90 to place, and $2.90 to show. Alda brought back $3.70 to place and $3 to show, while Seasons paid $3.50 to show.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.
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