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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Just who was Star Shoot?

Sunday's Star Shoot Stakes, a six-furlong sprint which is often used as an early prep for the Labatt Woodbine Oaks for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, was first run the year Woodbine opened, 1956. The race was held at Greenwood that year and was won by Orchestra, who, incidentally, also won the Woodstock Stakes the same year (the Woodstock was held for the 108th time today).
Curiously, the Star Shoot is named for a male horse who sired one of racing's all-time great runners. This famous American son of Star Shoot was owned by J.K.L. Ross who served in the Royal Canadian Navy and was involved in a famous match race at Kenilworth Park in Windsor, Ontario in 1920.
Who was Star Shoot's famous son? Sir Barton.

As for Sunday's race, which could be run over a good-to-muddy Woodbine surface, last year's champion 2-year-old filly in Canada, KNIGHTS TEMPLAR, makes her local debut following some sharp training moves. An American-bred, Knights Templar will not be eligible to the Oaks but her main rival in the Star Shoot is Eaton Hall Farms' Canadian-bred miss GUMBOOTS, who won the prep for this race with a determined late punch. The Dan Vella barn is starting to roll and Knights Templar simply looks too good for her filly rivals.

Incidentally, the last Star Shoot winner to take the Oaks was the mighty Dance Smartly in 1991.


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