Trainer Graham Motion has indicated that Can’thelpbelieving won’t be joining his stablemates in this year’s Pattison Canadian International, but defending champion Erupt and barn favourite Messi are both on schedule for Sunday’s $800,000 Grade 1 feature at Woodbine Racetrack.
Junior Alvarado will ride Erupt (as well as the Motion-trained E.P. Taylor Stakes contender Quidura) while Jose Ortiz will retain the mount on Messi.
Flaxman Holdings’ Erupt breezed six furlongs this morning in 1:15.20 at Fair Hill in Maryland.
SEEKING ALBERT AND HUNTER O’RILEY OUT OF INTERNATIONAL
Prospective Canadian International candidates Hunter O’Riley, a four-year-old ridgling who is based in New York with trainer Jimmy Toner, and Seeking Albert, a three-year-old colt here with Mike DePaulo, will not be in the lineup.
Hunter O’Riley, a long-distance turf specialist who races for owners Sean Shay and Michael J. Ryan, has been running well of late, becoming a stakes winner in the Grade 2 Bowling Green and then finishing a close fourth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga.
“He’s fine, but we’ve had some foot issues with him,” said Toner. “I had to miss some time with him. I thought I could make it, but it’s just a little bit too tight. I didn’t feel comfortable. Better safe than sorry, so we’re going to have to take a pass this week. We’ll try it again next year.”
Seeking Albert, who had been scheduled to breeze here on Sunday, instead will be undergoing minor surgery.
“We found a chip in his right front ankle,” said Mike DePaulo, who trains the three-year-old colt for owner Rob Marzilli. “He’ll be fine; it’s just one of those untimely things. He’s going to need three months.”
Seeking Albert is coming off consecutive fourth-place finishes in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer and the Breeders’ Stakes, both of which came over the International’s course and distance.
Bred in Ontario, Seeking Albert had been racing in Texas and was purchased privately this spring with an eye toward the Queen’s Plate.
That plan did not come to fruition but Seeking Albert has subsequently found a home going long on the turf.
EARLY LOOK AT THE PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL (9) Horse / Owner / Trainer / Jockey
Bullards Alley – Wayne Spalding and Faron McCubbins – Tim Glyshaw – Eurico Rosa da Silva
Chemical Charge (IRE) – Qatar Racing Limited – Ralph Beckett – Oisin Murphy
Enterprising – Maxis Stable – Michael J. Maker – Rafael Hernandez
Erupt (IRE) – Flaxman Holdings, Ltd. – H. Graham Motion – Junior Alvarado
Flamboyant (FR) – David Bienstock and Charles Winner – Patrick Gallagher – Brice Blanc
Johnny Bear – Colebrook Farms and Bear Stables, Ltd. – Ashlee Brnjas – Luis Contreras
Messi (GER) – Gestut Brummerhof – H. Graham Motion – Jose Ortiz
Oscar Nominated – Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey – Michael J. Maker – Julien Leparoux
Postulation – Runnymede Racing LLC – Edward L. Graham – Jorge A. Vargas, Jr.
DOWSE’S BEACH RETURNS FOR GRADE 2 NEARCTIC
Dowse’s Beach, trained by Brad Cox for Gaining Ground Racing LLC., finished second here in the seven-furlong Grade 2 Play the King Stakes on August 19 while making his first start on Canadian turf.
On Sunday, he’ll look to go one better in the $250,000 Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes contested at six furlongs over the world-famous E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
“He handled the turf course there fine and we were super pleased with the effort,” said Cox. “Seven-eighths was probably a little bit of a stretch, so we’re hoping that the shortening will help him a little bit.”
The six-year-old Disco Rico grey was claimed for $62,500 after finishing fourth in a turf sprint for former trainer Christophe Clement.
“We have a string in New York and he’s a consistent horse and loves the turf. It’s really worked out and he seemed worth the amount of money they wanted for him,” said Cox. “He’s been a very good horse for us and we’re pleased with how he’s training.”
Dowse’s Beach won his first two starts for new connections including a scintillating front-running effort is a six furlong optional claiming sprint at Belmont Park which garnered a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure.
The six-year-old then set a rapid pace in the Play the King only to be collared in the final stride for a narrow neck loss to Conquest Panthera.
Dowse’s Beach arrives at the Nearctic from a good fourth in the Lucky Coin Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint at Saratoga.
“His race at Saratoga was okay, but I don’t think he likes to be rushed off his feet like he was last time. We’re hoping for a little bit better of a set up on Sunday,” said Cox.
Cox believes the move from the tight turn at Saratoga to the sweeping turn at Woodbine will benefit Dowse’s Beach.
“Without a doubt. He likes the turns there at Woodbine just like the turns at Belmont. The distance suits him and I think he’s ready for a big effort on Sunday,” said Cox.
Jose Ortiz will ride.
EARLY LOOK AT THE $250,000 GRADE 2 NEARCTIC
Horse / Owner / Trainer
Cotai Glory / Kangyu Int. Racing (HK) Ltd & Mr F Ma / C.B. Hills
Dowse’s Beach / Gaining Ground Racing LLC / Brad H. Cox
Ikkerin Road / Alpine Stable Ltd. / Vito Armata
Sweet Grass Creek / Gustav Schickedanz / Mike Keogh
White Flag / Robert S. Evans / Christophe Clement
Yorkton / Chiefswood Stable / Stuart Simon