By Scott Taylor
Manitoba’s newest Super Horse, the fabulous filly Hidden Grace has completed her second straight undefeated season at Assiniboia Downs.
On Friday night, the three-year-old Manitoba-bred beat the best older mares on the grounds in stunning fashion, winning the $30,000 Manitoba Matron Stakes over one mile and one eighth by almost five lengths.
Owned by Barry Arnason, Charles Fouillard and Cam Ziprick, trained by Michael Nault and ridden by Renaldo Cumberbatch, Hidden Grace has now won all eight races in her career and all have been Stakes races. She won the Debutante Stakes and the CTHS Sales Stakes as a two-year-old and then this year won the Hazel Wright Sire Stakes (June 8), the Chantilly Stakes (June 21), the R.C. Anderson Stakes (July 13), the Manitoba Oaks (Aug. 2), the Distaff (Aug. 17) and now the Manitoba Matron (Sept. 6).
Hidden Grace has now won $110,169 in her career and a whopping $83,144 all at Assiniboia Downs this summer alone.
On Friday night, Hidden Grace does what she does best – she waited for the right moment and then waved good-bye to the field. She sat in behind the pacesetter close to the rail saving ground and then midway through the final turn, Cumberbatch asked for a little more and, of course, got it. Hidden Grace nearly flew into the lead and then opened up into the stretch and drew out, winning by a comfortable and impressive margin over the morning line-favourite, Tadaa.
Hidden Grace paid $5.50 to win, $2.90 to place and $2.20 to show. Tadaa, ridden by Dillon Khelawan, paid $2.30 to place and $2.10 to show and Vidira, ridden by Alex Cruz, ran third paying $3.00.
Tadaa, Hidden Grace’s older sister, just had the best year of her career and came into the Matron on the heels of three victories – in the Canada day Stakes (July 1), the Winnipeg Sun Stakes (July 24) and the Saratoga Sis Overnight Stakes (Aug. 14). Tadaa has now won $116,429 in her career for owners Gary Danelson and Barry Arnason.
Tonight, at Assiniboia Downs in Race 1, it’s the J.W. Sifton Stakes for three-year-old Manitoba-bred horses. It’s a small four-horse field and the morning line favourite at 1-2 is Purrsibility, a gelding owned by Mr. 2 U, trained by Jerry Gourneau and ridden by Chavion Chow, He’ll get a challenge from Raven’s Cry at 2-1, owned by Larry Falloon, Andrew Clarke and Denis Huberdeau, trained by Marvin Buffalo and ridden by Renaldo Cumberbatch.
On Sunday afternoon, the final day of racing on the season, there are two Stakes races — the $25,000 Buffalo Stakes and the $30,000 Winnipeg Futurity for the best two-year-olds of the 2018 campaign. Esther’s Quest at 7-5 in the favourite in the Buffalo Stakes while Stakes winner Cash Or Card (1-2) is the heavy favourite in the Futurity. The two Stakes races are the first two races on the card.
Racing starts tonight at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 1:30.