80TH CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL
Post Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Oscar Nominated Michael J. Maker Julien Leparoux 8-1
2 Flamboyant Patrick Gallagher Joel Rosario 6-1
3 Enterprising Michael J. Maker Rafael Hernandez 20-1
4 Idaho Aidan O達rien Ryan Moore 5-2
5 Johnny Bear Ashlee Brnjas Luis Contreras 12-1
6 Postulation Edward L. Graham Jorge Vargas Jr. 12-1
7 Bullards Alley Tim Glyshaw Eurico Rosa da Silva 20-1
8 Messi Graham Motion Jose Ortiz 20-1
9 Erupt Graham Motion Junior Alvarado 7-2
10 Chemical Charge Ralph Beckett Oisin Murphy 5-1
The story-lines are plentiful as Woodbine unveils a blockbuster card of racing on Sunday, highlighted by the Grade 1 Canadian International, worth $800,000, and the $500,000 EP Taylor, also a Grade 1.The Nearctic, a Grade 1 sprint on turf and perhaps the most intriguing race of the day, the Grade 3 Ontario derby, are also on the 12 race card.
On the International front, last year’s winner ERUPT will battle for favoritism with IDAHO, whom he beat in the race last year. Erupt, a very kind, bay stallion, is making his first start for American trainer Graham Motion following a 5th place finish in the Sword Dancer. Idaho was 6th int he same race.
Idaho’s trainer Aidan O’Brien is poised to equal.set a record for group 1 wins in a season. He is 2 such wins behind Bobby Frankel at 23 and has starters in Group 1’s in Europe on Friday and Saturday before sending out Idaho and rain Goddess in the Taylor.
One other European has come in for the 80th International, the race made famous by the great Secretariat in 1973 – Chemical Charge, a colt who was held in high regard before a knee injury that caused him to miss all of 2016.He comes off a Polytrack win but is an improving sort for trainer Ralph Beckett.This was the first airplane ride for Chemical Charge and the first trip to Woodbine for head lass Lindsey Metcalfe, who talks about her colt on the TALKIN HORSE RACING Canadian International preview show coming out later today.
A host of American battlers fill the field, headed by OSCAR NOMINATED and POSTULATION, who ran 1-2 in the Kentucky Turf Cup on sept 9 at Kentucky Downs.
And one of the most popular runners at Woodbine these days, JOHNNY BEAR, is the lone Canadian-bred in the race and the last last Canuck bred to win the International was THORNFIELD in 1999.
JOHNNY BEAR brought his owner John Burness and his daughter/trainer ASHLEE to tears when he won the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes in his last race and he really is reminiscent of Thornfield as the improving older horse with the home course advantage.
The E.P. TAYLOR is a very good field of 9 with all invaders making up the group that will go 1 1/4 miles on turf.
(from Woodbine media) – The richest mare in the field with almost $780,000 banked in purses, five-year-old Blond Me is a two-time Group 2 winner campaigned by trainer Andrew Balding and owner Barbara M. Keller.
The Tamayuz daughter’s latest Group 2 success in the Betfred Middleton Stakes over 1-5/16 miles at York, Great Britian and a second behind the talented Winter in Goodwood’s Group 1 Nassau Stakes over 1-1/4 miles are her top performances this year. A subsequent start, which came in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Vermeille at Chantilly, France is best ignored according to handler Leanne Masterton, who said, “She was hampered badly, and he [jockey Oisin Murphy] pulled her up.”
Following a 2015 victory in the Taylor aboard Curvy, jockey Ryan Moore will sport the colours of Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith once again in the 71st renewal of the race as three-year-old filly Rain Goddess looks to up her game.
A two-time Group 1 runner-up earlier in the season, the Galileo miss was a half-length winner in the Group 3 Snow Fair Stakes at Curragh, Ireland at the end of August and finished third in her next assignment there, the Group 2 Moyglare Jewels Blandford Stakes on September 10.
Rain Goddess is trained by Aidan O’Brien, who also campaigns Idaho, the Pattison Canadian International morning line favourite, for the same connections.
Returning Taylor contender Nezwaah, who was seventh but just two lengths off the 2016 winner, beat Rain Goddess for her first Group 1 stakes win in the Pretty Polly over 1-1/4 miles on the turf at Ireland’s Curragh two starts ago with regular jockey Andrea Atzeni aboard. A winner in half of her 10 career starts, the four-year-old filly by Dubawi is trained by Roger Varien and owned by Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum.
Graham Motion trains two Pattison Canadian International contenders (Erupt, Messi) and will have a shot at the E.P. Taylor too with the highly-regarded four-year-old filly Quidura. Since winning her North American debut last September, Gestut Faehrhof’s homebred daughter of Dubawi and Group 1 stakes winner Quetena has finished no worse than third facing graded stakes company in five subsequent starts.
“They had very high expectations of her in Germany when came to me; they thought very highly of her,” said Motion. “Her being a Dubawi, she’s beautifully bred. The Dubawis are phenomenal. She hasn’t done a whole lot wrong since she’s been with me really.”
This summer, Quidura earned the Taylor field’s best 102 Beyer’s Speed Figure in the Diana (Grade 1) Stakes at Saratoga after being caught at the wire by Lady Eli then won the Canadian (Grade 2) Stakes last time out on September 16 at Woodbine. Both events were contested over 1-1/8 miles on the turf.
Junior Alvarado, who has been aboard for five or her six starts in North America including her three wins, will retain the mount in the Taylor.
Fourstar Crook will attempt to steal the glory in her Canadian debut for trainer Chad Brown and owners Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith. The five-year-old Freud mare boasts the most wins (nine of her last 10 starts) among the Taylor contenders. Among her victories are four New York-bred stakes, including a last-out score in the John Hettiner at Belmont Park on September 24, plus she’s won the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx Racing.
“She’s a very consistent horse,” said Brown. “She’s very good, and I think the mile and a quarter will suit her just fine.”
Javier Castellano retains the mount on Fourstar Crook.
Brown also brings Lael Stable’s Rainha Da Bateria back for another shot at the Taylor after her 1-1/4 length loss as the fifth-place finisher last year. The daughter of Broken Vow has since won (in a dead-heat) over the same distance and course in Woodbine’s Dance Smartly (Grade 2) Stakes then closed gamely from last to fourth in the Beverly D (Grade 1) Stakes at Arlington Park in her last outing on August 12.
“She always runs really well there at Woodbine; that’s one reason why we’re coming,” said Brown of the five-year-old mare, who also won last year’s Canadian (Grade 2) Stakes at Woodbine and will be reunited with jockey Julien Leparoux.
The ONTARIO DERBY is a super race for 3yos and Queen’s Plate winner HOLY HELENA is back in action on her home ground. The Stronach filly can wrap up Champion 3yo filly honours with a win.
(Also – www.horse-races.net has an excellent recap-preview of the Post Position draw on Wednesday and the big racing weekend at Woodbine)
NOTES FROMTHE DRAW – (from horse-races.net) – Woodbine’s CEO Jim Lawson gave a “summary” of the year, how the Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Mile broke handle records and how plans to redevelop the property are underway now that a gaming operator (Great Canadian) has been decided upon to run the on-site casino. He talked about the new 7 furlong turf course (replacing the harness track, with construction beginning in spring 2018) will allow Woodbine to card 5 or 6 turf races per day, in hopes of promoting Woodbine as the top turf racing facility on the continent.
It rained most of the day on Wednesday and is expected to rain off and on through Sunday. Tab horses with an affinity for slightly ‘off’ turf’.
While it is chilly Thursday morning (8 celcius), it expected to go up to 23 on the weekend.
USE YOUR HPI REWARDS TO BUY DAILY RACING FORM PAST PERFORMANCES
HPIbet customers are now able to purchase Daily Racing Form (DRF) Past Performances directly through their HPIbet accounts.
The DRF is celebrated as the go-to resource for racing news and handicapping information in the horse racing industry since 1894. HPIbet customers will be able to purchase DRF Past Performances on a daily basis from major racetracks across North America, directly on the HPIbet.com site using their HPIbet balance or reward points.