Boardroom Overhauls Pacesetter Souper Sensational Late To Win Royal North

Boardroom made her turf debut a winning one, taking the $175,000 Royal North Stakes (G2) Saturday at Woodbine.

For the connections of Boardroom, there was a one big question heading into the 6 ½-furlong Royal North: Would the talented five-year-old take to the turf?

The LNJ Foxwoods’ mare provided an emphatic answer.

It was Souper Sensational, also making her turf debut, who took the lead, as Jeanie B, second by a nose in last year’s running of the race, found herself a head behind the pacesetter. Boardroom, under Rafael Hernandez, was third, with U.S. invader In Good Spirits taking up residence in fourth through an opening quarter timed in :22.42.

Souper Sensational maintained her head advantage over Jeanie B, as Boardroom and In Good Spirits remained third and fourth, respectively, after a half in :44.37.

As the field rounded the turn for home, Souper Sensational was still calling the shots, as multiple stakes winner Boardroom was called upon for her best run.

Third and gaining at the stretch call, Boardroom dug down deep and collared her rival in the late stages, finishing a neck in front of Souper Sensational in a time of 1:13.55 over firm going. La Libertee was third and Gidgetta finished fourth.

Plagued by troubled trips on more than one occasion throughout her career, Boardroom was finally able to call the shots with a smooth journey.

“Josie [trainer, Carroll] told me, ‘Raffi, just make sure she breaks good out of the gate.’ She’s an unbelievable horse. Everything worked good, exactly like Josie told me, and here we are. Even though the pace was fast, she was doing everything easy. She just stretched her legs down the lane.”

Despite having to work overtime for the win, Hernandez had faith the daughter of Commissioner out of Money Madness would be able to seal the deal.

“I know my horse, when I keep asking, she’s going to give me the best she can.”

Which is exactly what Carroll has come to expect from her multiple graded stakes winning star.

“The last race, she missed the break,” said the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame conditioner, of the second-place finish in the Grade 3 Whimsical on May 8. “She just didn’t get herself into position in time. She was flying on end. She handled the grass really well at Palm Meadows and I was pretty confident she’d like it. I was a little concerned because I knew it would be pretty hard and fast and that was something she hadn’t been over. This is just a really good mare. You can’t go over there with anything but confidence. She just gives you everything every time.”

Last year, the bay, bred in Kentucky by Polo Green Stable Inc., had an abbreviated campaign.

Carroll lauded LNJ Foxwoods for their handling of Boardroom, who returned $7.70.

“I’m so fortunate that I have owners who are going to do the right thing by the horse. When you take the time and do the right thing by them, they pay you back.”

With the victory, Boardroom now has six wins, two seconds and a third from nine career starts.

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