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Moira Out to Defend Home Turf in E. P. Taylor

Moira , the queen of Woodbine and the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year, will face one of her toughest challenges of the year in the Oct. 8 CA$750,000 E. P. Taylor Stakes (G1T) at Woodbine.

In last year’s E. P. Taylor, the Ghostzapper   filly, a 3-year-old at the time, ran a gutsy race against her older rivals to fall a neck short of catching the winner Rougir at the line. Later disqualified and placed eighth in a roughly-run battle to the wire, Moira then finished a respectable fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1T) after a wide trip. Older and stronger, although not quite as dominant as she was in her races last year, Moira returns to the 1 1/4-mile turf test back in top form following a 6 1/4-length romp in the Canadian Stakes (G2T) Sept. 9.

“She’s doing well,” trainer Kevin Attard said of Moira. “She’s coming off a big win, obviously, and she’s had some good works since then.”

In the Canadian, Moira turned the tables on the Mark Casse-trained Fev Rover , who defeated the Canadian champion handily in the Nassau Stakes (G2T) earlier in the summer. Fev Rover, campaigned by Tracy Farmer, became a grade 1 winner at Colonial Downs in the Aug. 12 Beverly D. Stakes (G1T) in a gate-to-wire effort. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Irish-bred on the lead in a field devoid of early pace on Sunday.

Two of the likely favorites to spar with Moira for early favoritism will be the Godolphin homebred With The Moonlight  and the stylish Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (G1T) heroine Aspen Grove . With The Moonlight, shipped in from the Charlie Appleby yard in England, was a decisive winner of last summer’s Saratoga Oaks Invitational Stakes (G3T). Racing mainly overseas in Europe and Dubai, With The Moonlight did manage a North American appearance this April at Keeneland, where she was runner-up to multiple grade 1 winner In Italian  in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1T). She has been sidelined since a sixth-place finish in the Dahila Stakes (G2) at Newmarket in May.

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Aspen Grove, a Glenn Hill Farm and Coolmore-owned daughter of Justify  , makes her first start for United States trainer Jack Sisterson after making her first eight starts for trainer James Stack. The late-running filly was fifth against males last time out in the Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes (G1T).

Things to Know

Entries: E. P. Taylor S. (G1T)

Woodbine, Sunday, October 08, 2023, Race 7

  • Grade IT
  • 1 1/4m
  • Turf
  • $750,000
  • 3 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
  • 4:31 PM (local)

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