Starship Jubilee, the little seven-year-old mare with a big heart, beat the boys under Justin Stein in Saturday’s Woodbine Mile (gr.I), becoming the third female winner in the race’s storied history, while earning a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup.
Admiralty Pier set fractions of 23.66, 46.14 and 1:09.12, while Starship Jubilee (6/1) raced in mid-pack, with the favoured War of Will (9/5) to her outside and the unbeaten three-year-old Shirl’s Speight to her inside.
War of Will hit the front at the eighth pole before being overtaken by Starship Jubilee, who edged away for a one-length score over a charging March to the Arch. War of Will edged out Olympic Runner for third, a result that gave trainer Mark Casse a sweep of the second, third and fourth positions.
Starship Jubilee’s final time of 1:32.06 was just .31 of a second off Wise Dan’s course record. “Sitting inside around the five-sixteenths pole, I had tons,” Stein said. “I was waiting for a chance to tip her out and ask her to run. She’s so honest, and she wants to win more than anybody else. She just waited for her cue, and took off like a scalded cat. She was gone.”
Trainer Kevin Attard, who bypassed last Saturday’s Grade Two Canadian with Starship Jubilee, gained confidence in her as she made her way down the stretch.
“When I saw her tip out and I heard [track announcer] Robert Geller call her name, I was watching with my binoculars,” Attard said. “I put them down and probably screamed as loud as I could, because I knew she had a good chance. I started to see her draw away, and the other horses weren’t making up ground. You never want to count your chickens before they hatch, but I knew she had it.”
First-place prize money of Can$600,000 in the Can$1 million event pushed Starship Jubilee’s career earnings over Can$2 million. The 2019 Canadian Horse of the Year, she was claimed for a bargain US$16,000 by Attard early in 2017 at Gulfstream. Attard said a decision on if the daughter of Indy Wind will run back in a Breeders’ Cup race at Keeneland in November is pending.