The first leg of the Blossom Stakes gets underway this Friday at Woodbine. Good timing for trainer Joey Shea, who likes the way his filly Marquise De Sarah is heading into the $18,000 event.
"She's coming into the race as good as we can expect, Shea said. "I trained her the other day and she trained very well, so we'll see what the weekend brings.
The daughter of Mach Three-Putnam Flyingbye has posted a 5-2-0 record from 10 starts, including two straight wins and $53,600 in earnings for owner Robert Bridges.
Marquise De Sarah didn't come into the Shea stable until last September. "She was broke by Riina Rekila then moved over to Chad Milner, Shea said. "They decided to stop with her early as a 2 year old because she was growthy' and she needed to develop. I picked her up in September to get her ready to race and she's been terrific since day one.
Marquise De Sarah raced three times last season and sported a pair of wins along with a second place finish and $23,000 in earnings. Driver Phil Hudon has been the filly's regular pilot throughout her 10 career starts.
"She was racing very well early on, but she was starting to get hot behind the gate and Phil and I talked and we decided to race her from behind and that worked out very well, Shea said. "Now Phil's able to race her any way he wants. He's done a terrific job with her and we're lucky to have him.
Shea admires the qualities Marquise De Sarah possesses. "She's got a terrific attitude, he said. "She loves beating other horses and can put up a fight. She's a medium-size filly with a lot of speed and a big heart.
The Blossom Series is for fillies who are non-winners of three races or $15,000 in 2012.
The $18,000 second leg of the Blossom Series is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, with the $60,000 final slated for Thursday, April 11.
The two divisions will line up as follows:
1 Wildcat Hanna
2 Belle Boyd
3 Air Miles Hanover
4 Marquise De Sarah
5 A And Gs Doll
6 Bride In A Box
7 Keep The Dream
8 OK Fiesty
9 Angels Delight