Racing News

Northern Passion prevails over the Woodbine turf

From a purely mathematical standpoint, owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse had a one-in-four chance of winning Saturday's $240,345 Natalma S. (Can-G3) for juvenile fillies at Woodbine as three of the 12 entrants adorned Oxley's classic-winning gray and yellow silks. In the end it was the more highly favored of the uncoupled trio, NORTHERN PASSION (First Samurai), who punched her ticket to Churchill Downs for the November 4 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) with an authoritative last-to-first rally.

Breaking from post 10, Northern Passion was allowed to settle at the rear of the field by Luis Contreras down the backside. Riding the rail around the far turn, Northern Passion encountered little traffic while advancing through the field. Fifth with a quarter-mile remaining, the chestnut continued to surge up the inside and wore down the pace-pressing Dayatthespa (City Zip) in the final furlong to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths. The 6-1 fourth choice, Northern Passion paid $14.70, $6.80 and $4.20 after completing one mile in 1:35.

"No, it wasn't," said Contreras when asked if his game plan was to take an inside path. "But the race went like that and I just took my chance of getting my horse clear."

Dayatthespa, who tracked in second as Quality Lass (Exclusive Quality) set fractions of :23 1/5 and :46 2/5, seized control from that rival approaching the three-quarter marker. A length clear after six furlongs in 1:11 1/5, she continued to maintain that advantage through most of the stretch run but couldn't contain the winner. The 9-2 second choice, Dayatthespa was two lengths clear of 17-1 chance Stephanie's Kitten (Kitten's Joy) at the wire. Fourth was another Oxley-Casse entrant, Spirited Miss (Sky Mesa), who was followed by 5-2 favorite Hard Not to Like (Hard Spun), Ten K Cat (Tale of the Cat), Sky Dreamer (Sky Mesa), Runfor Ro (Afleet Alex), St Pancras (Scat Daddy), Quality Lass, Evil Kitten (Kitten's Joy) and Welcome Dance (Henny Hughes). Anna Sophia (Oasis Dream [GB]) was scratched.

Northern Passion made a winning debut at Woodbine on July 9, rallying from mid-pack to take a 5 1/2-furlong maiden by 1 1/4 lengths on the Polytrack. Remaining on that surface for the August 13 Ontario Debutante S. at 6 1/2 furlongs, the chestnut made another nice close but fell short of catching Tu Endie Wei (Johar) by a half-length in a runner-up effort. Her career earnings now stand at $235,707.

Bred in Ontario by Mel Lawson, Northern Passion was a $220,000 OBS March two-year-old in training purchase. She was produced by the stakes-placed A Touch of Glory (Golden Gear), who has subsequently reared yearling and weanling full sisters to the Natalma winner. A Touch of Glory is a full sister to Canadian champion and 2001 Natalma winner Ginger Gold, and a half-sister to Coronation Futurity winner Kesagami (Carson City). This is the family of Grade 3 winner Take Note of Me (Notebook) and, further back, 1945 Kentucky Derby hero Hoop, Jr. (*Sir Gallahad III).

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit brisnet.com for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos

GET TO KNOW THE KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER CALIFORNIA CHROME (PRE-RACE BIO)

California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.