Written by: Kim Izzo
Anyone who has seen two-time Olympic three-day-event rider Jessica Phoenix gallop one of her horses around a cross-country course would not be surprised to learn she is also a fan of horse racing. “It’s always exciting to be around that level of athlete,” she says of her visits to the track as a spectator. “Thoroughbreds have such amazing hearts. As an event rider, I appreciate having them underneath me because when the going gets tough they show real courage.” In fact, two of her top prospects for this year’s World Equestrian Games ‒ Dr. Sheldon Cooper and Bogue Sound‒ are off-the-track-thoroughbreds.
Canada’s eventing “Wonder Woman,” Jessica knows something of courage, and as the Canadian Triple Tiara series kicks off this weekend with the Woodbine Oaks, Phoenix has a special connection with the favourite, Wonder Gadot.
The Woodbine Oaks is a prestigious mile-and-1/8th race for Canadian-foaled three-year-old fillies that has a hefty purse of $500,000 and was first run in 1956. And lest you think the fillies can’t run as fast as the colts, last year’s winner, Holy Helena, went on to defeat the boys in the Queen’s Plate.